Preparing to Vaccinate People Experiencing Homelessness Who Are Unsheltered

The UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative collaborated with the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council and the California Health Care Foundation to create resources to help homelessness response systems with COVID-19 vaccination planning. The third in a series, these materials describe important considerations in planning strategies for vaccinating unsheltered people, as all persons experiencing homelessness are now eligible for vaccination in California.

Widespread vaccination is a critical piece of the solution to ending the COVID-19 Pandemic. California’s vaccine distribution plan now prioritizes all people experiencing homelessness, regardless of age and sheltering status.

People staying in shelters and other congregate settings are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 due to their living situation and should be the focus of first efforts. (See Checklist for Shelter Providers and Lessons Learned.) However, all persons experiencing homelessness, including people who are unsheltered, are now eligible for vaccination as they may transition to a congregate setting on short notice. In planning to reach unsheltered people, here are some important tips and key considerations.