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Preventing COVID outbreaks in LA homeless communities

We partnered with LA County’s major public health players to protect our homeless neighbors from the disproportionate risks that the COVID-19 pandemic presented.

Tests Administered

COVID-19 tests administered to people experiencing homelessness

Vaccine Doses Distributed

Doses of COVID-19 vaccine distributed to people experiencing homelessness in LA County since May 2021.

Outreach Contacts

Outreach contacts made with people experiencing homelessness at risk of getting the COVID-19 virus since May 2021.

In March of 2020, empty streets in cities across the world became a symbol of the shock and fear that accompanied the first stage of the long battle to defeat COVID-19. In a city like Los Angeles where over 66,000 people sleep on sidewalks, in parks, or beneath overpasses on any given night, just having a home in which to quarantine was a luxury. 

The challenge of administering aid to a population defined by close quarter living conditions, itinerant mobility, and limited access to care was one that Akido had been building towards for years prior. As the initially low rate of COVID-19 infections amongst Los Angeles’ homeless population ballooned to potentially catastrophic levels, city and county authorities including LAHSA, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Health Services launched a variety of response initiatives in collaboration with Akido.

To address the dynamic nature of the problem, Akido simultaneously implemented programs to support outreach triage, widespread PCR and point-of-care testing, and vaccination hub administration, which necessitated exactly the sort of flexible, standardized, and distributed solutions that form the core of the Akido mission. 

As of May 2021, Akido has administered more than 25,000 COVID tests and distributed more than 10,000 vaccine doses to Los Angeles’ homeless population. More impressive still, their programs have directly empowered more than 50,000 unhoused Angelenos to choose paths of care and prevention to keep them safe during the global pandemic.

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