Released: January 21, 2021
Press Contact: Caitlin Golden
Statement on COVID-19 Vaccine and Homeless Shelters Joe Finn, President & Executive Director Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA)
This week, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts began providing COVID-19 vaccinations to people staying in congregate homeless shelters and the frontline staff who serve them. This prioritization of homeless shelters in Phase 1 of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program reflects the Commonwealth’s commitment to serving its most vulnerable residents and its recognition that homelessness is a public health issue. People living in dormitory-style congregate homeless shelters are at great risk for transmission of the virus, and that risk extends to frontline shelter staff and the broader community. The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance is grateful to the Command Center, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Housing and Community Development for their partnership with homeless service providers across the Commonwealth to ensure shelter residents and staff have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Their approach recognizes that prioritizing the most vulnerable among us is a matter of social justice and good public health.