In the last two weeks we have been able to partner with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) to make sure our older tenants have safe and equitable access to the Covid vaccine.
So far we have held vaccination clinics onsite at four senior buildings—Alexander Residence, Antonia Manor, Maria Manor, and O'Farrell Towers. General managers, maintenance staff, and social workers at these buildings have worked together to make sure tenants felt comfortable, safe, and supported throughout the process.
Michael Wong, general manager at O'Farrell Towers, described how helpful his team was in making the clinic happen. Building staff like assistant manager Alexandra Liu created a smooth and safe workflow in the building, mapping out locations with enough space for distancing as tenants registered in one room and got vaccinated in another. Prioritizing everyone's safety, maintenance staff like Tim W. Tang made sure to clean after each vaccination was complete.
Prior to and on the day of the clinic, the social work team, Kayan Ip and Polina Litvak, played a pivotal role in providing resources on the vaccine, translating and interpreting complicated medical questions into Russian, Cantonese, and Mandarin, managing logistical processes such as filling out registration forms, and providing emotional support and reassurance for each tenant. After tenants received their single-dose shot, Kayan and Polina were available to help tenants back to their homes.
They were very appreciative. Our tenants are seniors and many have disabilities. Some cannot walk. They were very happy they didn't have to wait or leave the building," said Wong.
Wong shared how a nurse with the DPH was able to vaccinate a tenant, who was unable to walk, in the comfort of their home.
Knowing that our elders and people with chronic illness are at high risk and often have the most barriers to getting to a vaccine clinic, having these onsite clinics were critical. Additionally, having the one-on-one assistance and translation support from our social workers ensured that we're doing our part to advance equitable access to health services and protect the well-being of our community.
My goal is to make sure everyone feels at home here. We treat all tenants like we're part of a big family. I see them as my parents, my grandparents. I want to make sure they're happy. I want to make this place joyful, peaceful, and fair for them," said Wong.
We thank everyone who has been involved in making these clinics possible, especially our onsite building staff, maintenance, desk clerks, and social workers who have been essential workers throughout the pandemic. Without their heart, dedication, and work, we wouldn't be able to support over 5,800 tenants in remaining housed and in community.