A U.S. National Guard nurse administers the COVID vaccine to Peter Sanchez, a homeless man who stays in Calexico and a U.S. Navy veteran, according to Brown Bag Coalition co-founder Maribel Padilla. A second- and single-dose clinic was held at Border Friendship Park in Calexico on Wednesday, May 19, along with a distribution of clothes and toiletries for the homeless. | PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIBEL PADILLA
CALEXICO — As blustery winds swept through Border Friendship Park last week, the city’s homeless population gathered for what was largely a second-dose COVID vaccination clinic and distribution of clothing and toiletries.
The Imperial County Public Health Department and U.S. National Guard members were on hand to administer the vaccines. One Public Health and two National Guard medical personnel administered 12 second doses of Moderna and 10 of the single-dose Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the mostly homeless individuals who gathered for the distribution and daily dinners coordinated by Brown Bag Coalition, according to Maribel Padilla, Brown Bag co-founder.
“I drove around town looking for my friend Peter (Sanchez), the Navy Vet, found him and reminded him to go to the park and get his vaccine,” Padilla wrote on her Facebook page. “I was thrilled when he showed up. I’m glad that most of the regulars have been vaccinated now.”
Volunteers braved the windy conditions to help distribute water, soda, new socks, toiletries, used clothes, and shoes.