Highrise Social Services team

Bringing Essential Services to the Community

October 29, 2021

Access to safe, permanent, affordable housing helps people live with stability, autonomy, and dignity. For the past 40 years, we have been serving older adults and people with disabilities in public housing who sometimes need additional support to thrive. Our teams are well-known in Minneapolis Public Housing as a bridge to essential services and healthier community.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Volunteers of America has stepped forward to ensure that the 3,500 people we serve in public housing every year not only maintain stable housing, but have access to food, medical assistance, and other critical services. In the early days of the pandemic, we partnered to conduct COVID-19 testing and provide health education to the residents. This partnership was so effective that we were called upon again when COVID-19 vaccinations became available. Everyone knew we had the partners and approach in place to build upon. 

Working alongside many community partners, Volunteers of America (VOA) helped bring vaccines to 39 high-rise apartment complexes across Minneapolis. 

VOA Community Health Workers and Social Workers knocked on residents’ doors to help promote on-site vaccination clinics. The team also provided language and cultural support to improve health education efforts, help address concerns, and build community. 

This partnership helped an additional 1,627 residents and staff get vaccinated, with 93% returning for their second shot.