Outreach links HUD assisted households to COVID-19 vaccines in Waterbury
[A Waterbury Housing Authority Berkley Heights resident receives a COVID-19 vaccine.]
A Waterbury Housing Authority Berkley Heights resident receives a COVID-19 vaccine.

In an effort to ensure HUD-assisted residents have access to COVID-19 vaccines for children, adults, and those eligible for boosters, HUD's Hartford Field Office is conducting outreach to subsidized multifamily properties, public housing communities, and other HUD-assisted residents in the Waterbury area.

As a result of the outreach efforts, the Waterbury Housing Authority (WHA) partnered with local health providers and community groups to bring vaccination clinics on site to their developments to ensure that residents and families have access to vaccines and health care.

These partnerships range from simple in and out clinics with health care providers to Family Fun Days with Grace Baptist Church and the Waterbury Police Activity League complete with bouncy houses, face painting, food, and entertainment.

The WHA began their focus on elderly residents first, hosting the first clinic at the Bergin Apartments, a 76-unit elderly high rise development. The WHA contacted residents at three elderly developments and the Waterbury Police Activity League provided transportation for residents at other sites that did not have access.

After access was provided to seniors, the focus shifted to family developments. The Health Department and community partners helped ease concerns about the vaccine by going door to door, speaking to residents, dispelling vaccine misinformation, and answering any questions residents had regarding the vaccine and COVID-19.

Most recently, in December, the WHA focused on younger residents hosting events with approved vaccines for ages 5 and up in family developments. This month, the WHA is focusing their efforts on booster clinics, with the first one tentatively scheduled for the week of January 18 for the elderly.

"This was a joint effort by community partners who made resident safety a priority," said Suzanne Piacentini, HUD Hartford Field Office Director. "Our thanks go to everyone who helped make these efforts a success, including Property Management staff who helped rally tenants to get vaccinated, and maintenance staff who helped set up and clean up for all these events. These clinics were truly a community effort and we are proud of the work being done by our partners to keep residents safe."