LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For the first time, the Mobile COVID Vaccination Clinic at Upstate will bring the vaccines to the homeless rather than having them travel to a facility.

The goal is to get every person experiencing homelessness vaccinated. It’s a big deal for them, because Syracuse’s homeless population often don’t have transportation.

People experiencing homelessness don’t always stay in the same place every night, and it’s hard for them to get to a clinic. This takes away that barrier, and not only does it help herd immunity, but it helps our homeless feel seen. 

“Value and dignity right whether it’s through food or medicine. Telling them they’re not invisible and we see you and you’re just as important as everyone in the community and you need to be vaccinated like everybody else is.” said John Tumino, founder of In My Father’s Kitchen. 

“I was gonna get it anyway but where I’m at… I’d rather be alive than dead,” said Gregory, a local man experiencing homelessness. Gregory had just received his vaccine from the mobile clinic operating from the program’s van.

This is a collaboration between Housecalls for the Homeless and In My Father’s Kitchen. Seven homeless people were already vaccinated prior to the kickoff of the mobile vaccination clinic, so now a total of 9 homeless people have been vaccinated. 

The ground crew now goes out 4 days a week, and every time they hit the streets they’ll continue to talk to their friends if they’re interested in getting a vaccine so they can continue to put more shots in arms.