Vaccinating the homeless in Pueblo

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PUEBLO, Colo. — As Colorado’s public health experts continue to push the population towards herd immunity against COVID-19, organizations in Pueblo are working to vaccinate people who are struggling to get the shot.

On Monday, Pueblo Police Department and Fire Department, County Sheriff’s Office, the Pueblo Food Project, and Beulah Fire department saddled up on OHV’s to reach people living near Fountain Creek.

“The problem with people living on Fountain Creek is they don’t have many resources available to them,” said Sgt Franklyn Ortega with the PPD. “They really don’t have access to go to the sites where they’re offering the vaccine.”

It was part of PPD and the other organizations’ regular checkups conducted every few months. They try to bring a few meals, some chaplains, and get people connected with resources to get them out of homelessness.

“It’s just one of those things where we go out into the public and interact with them and try to have those situations where we can have conversations and at the same time, help people in the community,” Sgt. Ortega said.

Just eight people were vaccinated Monday, Ortega says most were already immunized and others didn’t want the vaccine.

Over 60 people, however, were given a meal and a handlful of folks met up with the chaplains to get help.

“They don’t want to be in Pueblo, they want to be with their families in other places and as long as they have resources in that other place, our chaplains will assist them to get to that other place,” Sgt. Ortega said.

Ortega said its likely that PPD and other organizations will do similar outreach to unsheltered people in order to protect them against the pandemic.

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