Concerns about homeless community having access to free COVID-19 tests

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 6:21 PM EST
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Some South Florida community organizers are raising concern about the free at-home COVID-19 tests kits saying the homeless community is isolated from this program.

Doctor Tony Drayton is the lead pastor at St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Riviera Beach.

He also helps the homeless through the organization Faith in Florida.

Drayton said now with the free federal COVID-19 at home testing kits available — it may be a different story for those who live on the street and have no home address, which is required.

“That is what stops a lot of us from getting such services, not having a physical address. You can’t deliver to an individual who does not have an address through the mail system and such. You got to go out and meet those needs,” said Drayton.

In order to meet those needs for the time being, Dr. Drayton said that his congregation and others have pitched in to buy the at-home COVID-19 test to take to the homeless.

“I think that sometimes, when we wait for the government, some of these things may not happen,” said Drayton. “But it is still a responsibility of us in the community, to still meet those objectives.”

Drayton said local officials have to continue building bridges and include local advocates and community organizers for a greater reach of those people who need COVID-19 tests and vaccines.

“If you want these services to get into the Black and brown community, to get into the neighborhood, then you have to have trusted allies, who can meet those objectives,” said Drayton.

The director for community services for Palm Beach County told WPTV afternoon they are working to get those at home COVID-19 tests for the homeless in the next couple of weeks.

Scripps Only Content 2022