PHOENIX — Starting on Monday morning at 8 a.m., free COVID-19 vaccines will be offered to the metro Phoenix homeless population.
“We are doing all we can to keep this population safe and vaccinated,” says Marty Hames, spokesperson for Circle the City, a healthcare organization dedicated to the homeless population.
Hames says people like 61-year-old Toni Petersen who recently became homeless are the new reality of the economic effects of the virus.
“This is what we are going to be seeing with people getting evicted, they were living on the edge and now they are facing homelessness,” said Hames.
“Well we got evicted, we lost everything basically,” says Petersen during a zoom interview while she stayed at the CASS campus in downtown Phoenix.
Petersen is sharing living space with approximately 400 people who are currently experiencing homelessness.
"Our landlord had raised the rent about 1 and a half years ago by 250 dollars and it just got too hard to pay the rent,” she adds.
Not only is she sharing space, but Petersen is also in the age group that has been hit hardest by COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine she says, is a top priority.
“I’m just glad they haven’t forgotten about us who are down here,” she adds.
The goal of this upcoming week’s vaccination drive is to give out 100 vaccines per day.
“We’ve given out 2,000 vaccinate the overall goal is going to be at 5,000 we are going to give 500 this week on our campus doing what we can to protect our community,” adds Hames.
Toni Petersen tells ABC15 she will be the first in line first thing Monday morning.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity that they are giving us”
The vaccines will be administered at 206 South 12th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting on April 12 thru April 16. On April 14, they will have an additional vaccination event from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Vaccines will be free for all individuals above the 18-years-old.