The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has teamed up with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide coronavirus tests and vaccines to public housing developments and homeless shelters as part of a broader effort to expand access to and foster confidence in vaccines among low-income Americans.
A letter from the Biden administration urged federally funded community health centers to work with HUD housing programs to vaccinate residents. According to HHS estimates, the program will involve 200 of these health centers nationally, reaching 7,500 public housing properties, 6,700 homeless shelters, and 6,000 other types of multifamily homes.
In addition to setting up vaccine clinics in public housing developments and homeless shelters, HUD and HHS plan to help with scheduling testing and vaccination appointments; enlist religious leaders, sports coaches, and other trusted community members to encourage vaccination; provide transportation; and assist with finding medical care. The efforts will be funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
“There’s a great amount of work to be done,” health secretary Xavier Becerra said. “We have to show folks they can have faith – not just in people, but in the government.”