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On May 19, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Blanchet House will host an outdoor walk-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic for people experiencing homelessness or staying in shelters. The event will be operated by the Harrington Health Clinic and University of Portland School of Nursing in the parking lot next to Blanchet House. Nurses will have 150 doses of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine provided by Multnomah County available to administer. 

The clinic will take place during Blanchet House’s lunch service when hundreds of people experiencing homelessness travel to the nonprofit for meals.

“Making the vaccine accessible during meal service seems like a good strategy to optimize accessibility,” says Emily Harrington, RN, founder of the Harrington Health Clinic which is located inside Blanchet House.


A University of Portland student nurse administers a flu vaccination to a woman experiencing homelessness during an outdoor clinic held at Blanchet House in Oct. 2020.

A government-issued ID is not required to receive a vaccination as it is a barrier for many people living homeless in Portland. The lack of government-issued identification is a common problem among people experiencing homelessness so eliminating this barrier will ensure more people can receive the vaccine. 

Alongside the vaccination tents, Harbor of Hope will park its shower truck and the Multnomah County Health Department will offer STI/STD testing. Individuals interested in receiving a different brand of vaccine will be assisted in making an appointment at a peer social services agency at a later date.

“Many people experiencing homelessness trust Blanchet House as a place where their needs for food, shelter, and comfort can be met without judgment or discrimination,” says Scott Kerman, Executive Director of Blanchet House.  “As a result, Blanchet House can act as a hub for other services.” 

Blanchet House hopes that this is the first in a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics it will host this year. Contact Blanchet House staff at for more information about the vaccination clinic. An event flyer for the clinic can be downloaded and printed here.

–by Julie Showers

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