POUGHKEEPSIE – Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County teamed up with several other community-serving agencies and the county to provide vaccinations and services geared towards the Latino community on Wednesday. The COVID vaccinations, arranged with the assistance of the county was the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Held at the Catholic Charities office on Mill Street, groups including Hudson River Housing, Family Services, Inc., and Community Action Partnership, joined with several other organizations to provide information on the vaccine, housing, food programs, and other services. Many of the booths were manned by bilingual representatives to help limit the stresses of language barriers.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to pull together and make this happen,” said Julie West, executive director of Catholic Charities, organizer of the event.
“It’s important to make sure we reach out to everyone that needs our assistance, Ulster jail inmates to begin getting vaccinated here it is with vaccines, foods, rental assistance,” added West. Catholic Charities is working on educating the community on the importance of the vaccine and alleviating the fears that people have expressed. The organization provides food, rent assistance, utility assistance, and an array of other services, including case management throughout Dutchess County as part of its mission.
County Executive Marc Molinaro joined Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison to tour the pop-up site that also included a food pantry where those in need could get fresh fruits, vegetables, and non-perishable food items.
Rolison stressed the importance of pop-up events that offer an array of services for the community. “It gives people the opportunity to get good information, and also, if they want, to get the shot.” The mayor encourages the use of community events such as food pantries and information fairs to provide vaccinations. “You need to bring the vaccines to where the people already are.”