Passport to Services held in conjunction with vaccination for the homeless

The Guam Homeless Coalition (GHC) held its Passport to Services event as well as COVID-19 vaccinations for Guam's homeless at the Paseo de Susan in Hagatna. (PNC file photo by Julianne Hernandez)

A vaccination clinic was held Tuesday for one of the island’s most vulnerable populations.

The Guam Homeless Coalition (GHC) held its Passport to Services event as well as COVID-19 vaccinations for Guam’s homeless at the Paseo de Susana in Hagatna.

Going on its 14th year, Passport to Services is GHC’s annual outreach that provides basic services and resources to homeless individuals and families.

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GHC Chairperson and Executive Director of Manelu Samantha Taitano said that they were, at first, solely going to do vaccinations, with 200 of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines on hand.

However, they felt that this was the best time to include Passport to Service.

“So we kind of did it at the same time when DPHSS reached out to us wanting to do this vaccination and putting aside the Johnson & Johnson one shot for the street homeless. We thought that it would also be a perfect opportunity to also make sure that if they need any services, that they would be able to go to one spot and we can help them because sometimes transportation is an issue. Having the service providers here just makes it a lot easier for them to get the services they need,” Taitano said.

Because of the current COVID-19 protocols, GHC decided to make this year’s event smaller.

“We typically invite more service providers and provide more information. But because we wanted to keep everyone safe and the focus was on the vaccination drive, we kept it smaller. You know, all of the organizations who weren’t able to come out and provide information, we made sure we got their brochures so we can put them inside of the goody bags,” Taitano said.

She added: “We’ve gotten a really good steady flow of people coming in and one of the things we’re happy about is that it looks like a lot of people are taking advantage of the opportunity to get the vaccination today.”

Some of the non-profit organizations that were present at the event were Salvation Army, Catholic Social Services, The Micronesian Resource Center, Guma Mami, The Department of Veteran Affairs, Guam Behavioral Health, and more

The vaccination clinic will continue on Friday, April 16 from 9 am to 2 pm at Ypao Beach Park where they plan to administer 100 of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines.