Homeless | CAI

Homeless

Liz Lerner

When COVID-19 vaccines arrive on Cape Cod, Barnstable County health officials want to see childcare staff and people who are homeless among those who get high priority, even though, to date, they are not specified on the prioity list set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaira Harik, deputy director of Barnstable County Human Services, said that in addition to health care workers and people in long-term care, early vaccines should go to people who are homeless and to workers at childcare centers.

Jennette Barnes / CAI

This spring, precautions against COVID-19 closed some of the few showers open to people who are homeless and living outdoors, including one in the basement of the Duffy Health Center in Hyannis.

Now, with a little ingenuity and some help from the state, showers are back — in a special trailer that meets COVID-19 protocol.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

For the past five winters, three Martha’s Vineyard churches took turns sheltering the homeless on different nights of the week. But those pop-up shelters relied mostly on elder volunteers, and they closed abruptly in March because of COVID-19.

This fall, a committee went looking for a new location. What they found could change the island’s approach to homelessness.