SANTA MARIA, Calif.– Good Samaritan's Emergency Shelter in Santa Maria is at full capacity as staff members wait for the COVID-19 vaccine to arrive and bring much needed relief.
There are currently 50 people living at the shelter, which is considered full based on the CDC guidelines.
Veterans and families are the shelter’s priority and at some points it had to turn people away or refer them to other shelters and services due to the limited capacity.
Staffing has also been a major challenge, but Good Samaritan leaders say relief could be on the way with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Beyond preventing potential outbreaks at the shelter, it could allow them to expand services.
“We understand that we’re also in a waiting pattern, there’s a lot of other programs and facilities and staff that also need to be vaccinated," said Good Samaritan Shelter Executive Director Sylivis Barnard. “So, we are trying to be patient through that but we are eager for vaccinations to come through.”
The shelter is higher on the state’s vaccination profiting list.
However, the shelter executive director says there is not a specific timeline to when the vaccines will arrive at the facility.
In the meantime, the goal is to continue to practice COVID-19 guidelines and patiently wait until the vaccines arrive.