Vaccine Distribution will Include Homeless, Shelter Workers & Volunteers Supporting Homeless

March 25, 2021

Governor Inslee recently expanded who can get vaccinated starting March 31st. In addition to the groups listed on the graphic, direct service providers in homeless and domestic violence shelters will also be eligible.  This is something that Washington Nonprofits, along with many other community partners, advocated for through the Washington State Vaccine Implementation Collaborative. 

According to the Washington State Department of Health, staff and volunteers who work at homeless and domestic violence shelters are eligible in Phase 1b, Tier 2 as first responders if:

  • Their work responsibilities are similar to those of an eligible social worker, are essential to the public health and safety of the people they serve
  • AND they are interacting with a high volume of people over extended periods of time (i.e. 3 or more hours in a 24-hour day)
  • AND the nature of their work includes crisis response (as similar to other eligible first responders in this category), which is beyond general social services work

Other staff and volunteers who do not meet these eligibility requirements, such as administrators or those who can work remotely, are eligible in Phase 1B, Tier 4.  

The next step for eligible shelter workers is to use the PhaseFinder and answer the questions below following these instructions:

  1. Click yes to the question “Are you considered a critical worker according to the Washington Critical Infrastructure Worker List?”
  2. Click “I work in the fire department, law enforcement, or as a social worker responding to public health or safety” under the question “Select which of the following statements best applies to your employment.”

We are so glad that more nonprofit service providers will be able to access vaccines.  We appreciate the critical services that you have been providing throughout the pandemic.

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