The Salvation Army Bed & Bread Trucks Deliver COVID-19 Vaccines to Detroiters in Need

Apr 21, 2021

The Salvation Army Detroit Harbor Light, with Central City Integrated Health (CCIH) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are in collaboration to distribute Moderna COVID-19 vaccines via The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread trucks.

Prior to distributing the vaccines, The Salvation Army Bed & Bread truck staff provided educational materials about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, and clients to return to get the vaccination.

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s Bed & Bread program is unique in that it serves people via trucks that are mobile soup kitchens. Through this coordinated effort, the nonprofit is expanding its Bed & Bread services to include COVID-19 vaccine distributions.

The Bed & Bread trucks left the Harbor Light facility, accompanied by a CCIH mobile care team consisting of two nurses and a peer support specialist, to educate and vaccinate Detroiters affected by racial and economic disparities in the access to and delivery of healthcare. CCIH will share information about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination, as well as administer the doses.

"The timing and the need could not be greater. We are grateful for the opportunity to reach deep pockets of our community where access to care is limited," says Jamie Winkler, The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Harbor Light System executive director. "The vaccine distributions would not be possible if it were not for Central City Integrated Health and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services."

A CDC vaccination card was provided to participating community members with the date of their vaccination and the date of their next vaccination. They can get their second shot from the Bed & Bread truck in their neighborhood on the specified date on their card. If they are unable to make it to the truck, they can call CCIH and get their vaccination at any CCIH facility. Clients will also receive information on the comprehensive array of services, including housing, offered by CCIH. Referrals will be made upon request and/or based on necessity.

In 2020, CCIH partnered with The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread program to provide prompt access to integrated health services including primary healthcare, mental health and dental services, and substance abuse treatment.

“It’s an honor to go out and meet the needs of Detroiters, addressing the racial and economic disparities in the access and delivery of care,” said Dr. Kimberly Farrow, Central City Integrated Health president and CEO. “We’re excited to bring vaccines to the community and thankful for The Salvation Army mobilizing this initiative.”

The collaboration between the organizations will protect those in need in Detroit, expand access to integrated healthcare services to high-risk populations, and support the state’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders ages 16 and older as quickly as possible.

“Reaching out and taking resources into the communities where Michiganders live makes it easier to access services and allows them to more easily get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “We have been working to improve access to the vaccine and this partnership is helping address health disparities in communities throughout Detroit.”

Vaccinations will continue until the need is met. 

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