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LMM Elevates Fight for Health Equity for Clevelanders Experiencing Homelessness

April 14, 2021

Nearly two in five Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and one-fifth have been completely vaccinated. Yet ensuring the equitable distribution of vaccines still remains challenging for one group of people in particular: Americans experiencing homelessness.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry is doing what it can to level the playing field and guarantee that hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in Cleveland have access to the vaccine. Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry recently worked with the city of Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and MetroHealth System to fully vaccinate 500 people at its Men’s Shelter, the largest homeless shelter in Ohio.

State-mandated age and health prerequisites for vaccination were waived due to the high risk associated with the congregate living setting. Lifting these requirements allowed Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry staff to coordinate with healthcare workers to make sure as many people who received the first shot also received a second—a task that’s at times challenging when working with people facing unstable housing.

Challenging, but very much doable, and the ministry has no plans to slow down yet.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry is a member of Lutheran Services in America, a network of 300 health and human service organizations located in more than 1,400 communities across the United States. Together, the network makes a difference in the lives of one in 50 Americans every year.

Learn more about Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry.

By Christopher Findlay, Senior Marketing Manager