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More than 100 residents, staff at Roanoke Rescue Mission get COVID-19 vaccines in mass clinic

ROANOKE, Va – The Roanoke Rescue Mission hit a major milestone in the battle against COVID-19 on Wednesday by hosting its first mass vaccination clinic.

Almost 200 people call the rescue mission home, including Susan Matthews.

“I came here June 15th and I was a train wreck I had like forty years of drugs and alcohol so once I came here I was able to put myself back on track and February 15th I have eight months clean,” Resident of the Rescue Mission Susan Matthews said.

Matthews is one of more than 100 staff members and residents who got their first COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.

“We consider ourselves a family here so we always look out for each other and we had open discussions about the vaccine,” Matthews said.

Because the rescue mission is a shelter it falls under phase 1b for vaccination.

“We don’t want to have any barriers when it comes to somebody staying here and saying, hey, maybe I shouldn’t go back tonight because I don’t want to get COVID-19,” Community Outreach Manager Kevin Berry said.

The rescue mission hasn’t seen any COVID-19 outbreaks aside from a handful of isolated cases. Staff members hope to keep it that way.

“We’ve realized that home is safe, you can go home you can stay home you can eat at home you can do all these things at home, where you don’t have to worry about exposure to the virus, and our guests may not have that every night, and so we want to provide the safest environment possible,” Berry said.

Matthews says she and her fellow Rescue Mission residents feel excited and blessed to get vaccinated.

Donald Wolfe

Donald’s writings have appeared in HuffPost, Washington Examiner, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Virginian-Pilot, among other publications. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He is the Virginian Tribune's Publisher.

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