Local agency reaches out to vaccinate homeless people



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PEORIA (WEEK) – Part of the effort to vaccinate the public against COVID-19 includes making sure homeless people get the vaccine.

Peoria’s Heartland Health Services is deploying “pandemic navigators” to local shelters. These navigators can help people schedule appointments to be vaccinated, or tested for the virus, along with the promise of care at no cost.

Reaching the homeless is more important than ever, said Michelle Sanders, director of development and marketing at Heartland.

“We have to educate the community on vaccine hesitancy…what the fears are or what is causing the community not to get vaccinated,” said Sanders.

“So in order to do that, you have to have a person out in the community to make sure that is being done,” she added.

Heartland also has a “no questions asked” policy to help people feel more comfortable seeking preventative COVID care, said Sanders.  

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