Lewis Brown hands a paper to a homeless woman in a downtown encampment. Brown was the paper’s front-page story in August, having won an important legal victory after being brutalized by the Fresno Police Department. Now he is distributing this paper to provide fellow homeless people with the information they need to know about the pandemic. Photo by Peter Maiden

Providing the Homeless with Reliable Covid-19 Information

Lewis Brown hands a paper to a homeless woman in a downtown encampment. Brown was the paper’s front-page story in August, having won an important legal victory after being brutalized by the Fresno Police Department. Now he is distributing this paper to provide fellow homeless people with the information they need to know about the pandemic. Photo by Peter Maiden

By Mike Rhodes

The Community Alliance has dramatically increased its distribution to homeless people in Fresno. Our goal is to put truthful and reliable information about Covid-19 in the hands of our ever-growing homeless population.

We have hired a crew of homeless people to reach out to the homeless throughout the city bringing them information about where to get tested for Covid-19, where to get vaccinated and what health precautions to take to avoid getting infected.

In our first month, we put 600 papers directly into the hands of the homeless, gave homeless people a paying job to do the distribution work and provided their peers with life-saving information. Win, win, win.

*****

Mike Rhodes is a writer and the business manager for the Community Alliance newspaper. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

*****

Homeless Alert! Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination Shots Available

There is both an opportunity to be tested and receive a vaccine at Poverello House every Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon. Most of those who take advantage of this opportunity are individuals experiencing homelessness. 

The HOPE Outreach Team (Poverello House’s street outreach program) provides outreach every day throughout the city of Fresno. They provide information about the opportunity at Poverello House to anyone they encounter or anyone who inquires.

Anyone experiencing homelessness who needs to be linked to a testing location or a vaccine can also receive that assistance at MAP Point at Poverello House. This program is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The testing and vaccines are provided by Family Health Care Network.

The Poverello House is located at Santa Clara and F streets.

  • Mike Rhodes is a writer for the Community Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. www.mikerhodes.us is his website. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

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