COVID-19 vaccine Chicago: Auburn-Gresham funeral home hosts walk-in clinic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A South Side funeral home director has had a tough year, comforting so many families who have had to say goodbye to loved ones. Now, he's trying to turn it around by offering walk-in COVID vaccines.

It's come full-circle at Golden Gate Funeral Home, located in a neighborhood hit hard by COVID-19 deaths - Auburn-Gresham.

"Either I can't get through or I can't even navigate the computer to try to get the shot," Carolin Trimble said.

She was one of the first people in line at Golden Gate Funeral Home near 79th Street and Hoyne Avenue. After weeks of trying, she finally got her 98-year-old mother, Lorraine Shaw, the Pfizer vaccine, and she is thrilled.

"Oh, very, relieved, now I can put her on an airplane, I can take her somewhere, other people can come around her, she has 15 grandchildren," Trimble said. "I'm trying to keep them all away, and great grandchildren; I just have her locked up in the bedroom and don't let anyone come around her because she has not been vaccinated."

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Funeral Home General Manager Sylvester Dunn teamed up with Instavaxx to offer a vaccination clinic at the facility three weeks ago.

And this time around, he's allowing people to walk in for a shot, providing more accessibility for those who need it most.

"People are not hesitant about it, at least not what I'm hearing," Dunn said. "It's like, 'where can I get it, I can't go downtown and wait in a line, I can't go over here across town, I know I'm eligible but I don't have transportation, I'm elderly. We're concerned about our seniors; our seniors make a great part of our community, and we want to sustain their lives."

They are hoping to administer 200 shots Thursday. Both first and second shots will be offered, which means this clinic will be back open to help more residents in a few weeks.

The general manager said as long as the need is great, and he can get the supply, he plans to continue this clinic for as long as he can.
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