NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 6, 2021 – The Metro Public Health Department, Neighborhood Health, and St. Thomas Health are leading a collaborative effort of 19 organizations with a goal of reaching 100 percent access to the COVID-19 vaccine for persons in Nashville experiencing homelessness.
“Initiatives to reach those experiencing homelessness is another step to ensure the vaccine is being offered with an equity focus,” said Dr. Alex Jahangir, Chair of the Metro Coronavirus Taskforce and Chair of the Metro Board of Health. “I am very grateful to each organization that has made the 100 percent access goal a priority.
“Our goal to make sure every person experiencing homelessness has the chance to get a COVID-19 vaccination by Memorial Day is within reach for two reasons,” said Brian Haile, CEO of Neighborhood Health. “First, Metro Public Health braved the elements and vaccinated hundreds of folks during the ice storm. Second, 19 organizations serving the homeless came together to build on that early success and get shots in arms.”
The Metro Public Health Department, Neighborhood Health and Saint Thomas Health will provide Johnson & Johnson vaccinations at a number of encampments and service provider sites.
The Metro Homeless Impact Division of Metro Social Services and Neighborhood Health started the initiative last Friday by offering vaccine at the emergency shelter set up at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Forty-five residents at the shelter were vaccinated.
Unlike other vaccine initiatives at the Music City Center and community events, individuals are not required to make an appointment to receive the shot.
Neighborhood Health will provide follow up care to any patients experiencing side effects after they depart the observation area of the vaccination events. Patients may walk in to the Downtown Clinic (entering through 705 Drexel Street).
Neighborhood Health will do subsequent “second pass” vaccination events at most of these locations to ensure all willing individuals can get vaccinated.
Neighborhood Health will provide onsite vaccinations at larger encampments, including but not limited to Centennial Park, Green Street Church, and other locations. Neighborhood Health will offer the vaccinations during weekday Street Medicine visits to these locations. The dates and times for these smaller events will depend on the ongoing supply of vaccine (and are, therefore, subject to change).
The following organizations are partners in the collaboration providing support for the outreach initiative:
- Colby’s Army
- Community Care Fellowship
- The Contributor
- Crescent Community Health
- The Little Pantry That Could
- Mental Health Coop
- Metro Homeless Impact Division /Metro Social Services
- Metro Public Health Department
- Nashville Rescue Mission
- Nashville Street Project
- Neighborhood Health
- Oasis Center
- Open Table Nashville
- Park Center
- People Loving Nashville
- Room in the Inn
- Saint Thomas Health/Ascension
- Shower the People