Special Populations: Unhoused Persons

In November of 2021, the unhoused population was classified as the highest priority group to receive the vaccine, followed by health care workers in hospitals, outpatient servers, and those in group living situations. However, when the vaccine did become widely available to those experiencing homelessness, less than 40% of in-shelter residents accepted the vaccine.[1] The D.C. Department of Human Services in collaboration with Unity Health Care began distributing COVID-19 vaccines to the roughly 60% of unvaccinated homeless on February 1.[2]

In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, DC Hotels have offered quarantine to patients experiencing homelessness, now also expanding to offer quarantine to monkeypox patients.[3] Anyone of any background is able to get vaccinated for free through the walk-up vaccination clinics hosted on the “get vaccinated” webpage through the coronavirus DC Gov. Schedules listed daily based on Ward and Facility Name. The District’s Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCOs) also offer free of charge transportation options for those in need, to and from, appointments. Request transportation through one of the four choices below:

  • AmeriHealth Caritas DC | Call 1-800-315-3485. Rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • CareFirst Community Health Plan DC | Call MTM1 at 1-855-824-5693. Rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Health Services for Children with Special Needs | Call SET Transportation at 1-866-991-5433.
  • MedStar Family Choice DC | Call 1-866-201-9974.

To find the most complete and up to date information provided by the Washington, DC government, visit their specialized coronavirus website and review key metrics[4], vaccination data[5], DC public school data[6], and variant surveillance in the region[7].

Resources –

[1] Kaela Roeder // April 28, 2021. “DC Continues Vaccinating Unhoused Residents through Mobile Clinics.” Street Sense Media, 6 May 2021, https://www.streetsensemedia.org/article/homeless-covid-mobile-clinics/#.YuwJsnbMK3A.

[2] “Response to Covid-19.” Dhs, https://dhs.dc.gov/page/responsetocovid19.

[3] Mark Segraves, News4 Reporter. “Covid-19 Quarantine Site at DC Hotel Expanded for Monkeypox Patients.” NBC4 Washington, NBC4 Washington, 3 Aug. 2022, https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/covid-19-quarantine-site-at-dc-hotel-expanded-for-monkeypox-patients/3124295/.

[4] “Key Metrics.” Coronavirus, 3 July 2022, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/key-metrics.

[5] “Vaccination Data.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/data/vaccination.

[6] “DC Schools Data.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/dc-schools-data.

[7] “Variant Surveillance.” Coronavirus, https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/variant-surveillance.

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