In the last month, Hope Solutions’ employees were offered the COVID-19 vaccine by Contra Costa County in recognition of our front line work to protect homeless and high-risk families and individuals. The organization is included in the COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Phase 1B group which includes frontline essential workers and congregate settings with outbreak risks. At the beginning of the pandemic, Hope Solutions’ created a COVID-19 Task Force to develop policies and procedures to ensure the safety of clients, staff, landlords, and community partners. The vaccination opportunity is a positive step forward in slowing the spread of COVID-19 so that businesses and schools can fully reopen. We asked our staff why they decided to get the vaccine.
I decided to get the vaccine because I am in the senior-aged group and I learned 80% of the deaths were people over age 65. So, the possible side effects of the vaccine didn’t seem as bad as death! Also, I wanted to help lower the amount of virus in the community to help protect all the frontline workers in hospitals, grocery stores, delivery services, and those working with homeless people. —Sara Marsh, Director of Programs
I had a moderate case of COVID-19 and had a close family member with a severe case of COVID-19. My experience with being ill and not knowing what may happen to me in the following days of being sick was terrifying… this virus is very ugly. I decided to get vaccinated to provide protection to myself, my family, and the people I serve. I will do whatever it takes, to keep everyone safe! —Maria Esqueda Case Manager Lakeside Apartments
Although I was extremely nervous about getting the vaccine, the first thing I did is prayed to God. Next, I consulted with my physician, discussed with my husband who is a microbiologist, as well as did some research about the vaccine. After my first vaccine, I did not have any allergic reactions – just a sore arm that only lasted for a day. I am still believing in God and trusting science to get through this safely. —Tanya Ford-Goins, Director of Housing Navigation
I got my first dose right before New Year’s Eve. It was a great way to end 2020, with hope and optimism that we will beat this virus in 2021, with vaccines and community effort. After all the challenges of 2020, as a parent of two middle schoolers doing remote learning, and a toddler missing out on social development opportunities, I chose to get vaccinated to protect my family. As the Youth Program Supervisor, and as an educator, I also chose to get vaccinated to protect our community. After months of socially distanced interactions and mask-wearing, getting the vaccine was the next logical step in fighting the virus so we can return to in-person services and be with our friends and family again. I am getting my second dose tomorrow. A sore arm and some aches are worth it to protect those around me. –Carrie Carlson, Youth Program Supervisor