COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
As the COVID-19 virus continues to persist and evolve, our response to these changing conditions must also adapt. The policies outlined here have been updated as of December 2022, but we will continue to assess our policies in light of local infection rates, and current recommendations from the CDC and our local board of health.
Equity of Access and Inclusion in our Shelter Program
Safe shelter is a necessity and human right for all individuals. Families with children, in particular, need access to a housing environment where they feel supported, included, and respected. We recognize that adoption of recommendations regarding vaccination is subject to a wide variety of personal, cultural, and religious beliefs. To increase access to our services to otherwise eligible families in need, we have made the decision to adjust our vaccination requirements for families in shelter to decrease barriers to shelter entry. To continue to create an environment that is as safe as possible for all, we have outlined the following adjustments to our COVID vaccination policy, and have supported and trained all staff and resident families in adhering to these guidelines.
All staff members and adult shelter residents are required to receive a primary, two-shot series of a COVID vaccine. Additionally, we strongly encourage everyone to receive currently available booster shots to maximize their protection against the virus. Children residing in shelter who are under the age of 18 are strongly encouraged, but not required, to be vaccinated. Family members age 18+ that are eligible for shelter entry but have not yet received a vaccine must receive their first dose two weeks prior to shelter entry, or are required to wear a mask upon shelter entry until two weeks have passed from their first vaccine dose.
We do not require staff, volunteers, visitors, or resident shelter families to wear a mask unless they are unvaccinated (with the exception of sheltered children under the age of 18). However, we encourage and support mask wearing for anyone in our Day Center that is concerned about potential exposure to COVID or any other infectious agents. We have surgical and KN95 masks available in our lobby for visitors.
Our Volunteers & Visitors
We recognize that some of our volunteers or visitors are concerned about potential COVID exposure. In attempting to balance those concerns with our need to maintain access and equity in our shelter program, we have set forth the following guidelines:
- We uphold a supportive mask culture, where anyone with concerns about exposure is encouraged to wear a mask while in our facility and to maintain social distancing from others while on site.
- We will ensure that we offer contact-free volunteering opportunities and will label them as such in our CERVIS volunteer portal.
- We will immediately communicate any positive COVID cases amongst our staff or resident families to any volunteers that are signed up via CERVIS for shifts in the two upcoming weeks so that volunteers can opt out of their shift if needed.