House of Mercy requires occupants to get the COVID-19 vaccine


COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – One homeless shelter in the community has managed to have zero COVID-19 cases within the past year by requiring the COVID-19 vaccine.

Last year, House of Mercy was faced with the difficulty of only allowing one new resident into the facility each month due to COVID-19 and limited funding. Since then the homeless shelter has managed to keep the home COVID free, Executive Director Pastor Johnny Womack told News 3 it’s been a true blessing keeping residents safe from the virus.

“By the grace of God, we’ve had zero COVID cases here in the House of Mercy,” Womack said.

Even though there have been no active COVID cases in the shelter, COVID restrictions are still in place. Occupants are still required to wear masks and new occupants are still required to quarantine.

“If you come to The House of Mercy, you have to show up with a covid test that can’t be over 72 hours. We will bring you in and quarantine you for five days, and once we have the results we will test you again on that fifth day. Once we get the results back saying you don’t have COVID, we integrate you with everyone else, so we have not gotten slack on that,” Womack said.

In order for new and old occupants to have a space at House of Mercy, they are now required to be fully vaccinated.

“Once I talk to them over the telephone, I tell them what the requirements are, first off you’re quarantined, that means you can’t go anywhere. Secondly, after coming here, you have to get vaccinated, if you don’t want to get vaccinated. If you don’t meet the requirements you can’t come to House of Mercy. I make it just that plain, and I only had maybe about five percent of folks who didn’t want to come here,” Womack said.

Womack told News 3 he feels very blessed to be able to provide a safe space for those in need.

“It makes me feel good knowing that we serve a gracious and loving God, who’s been listening to the prayers that we would not have anyone to get Covid. I tell the residents here daily and the preachers who come here Monday- Friday to continue to lift House of Mercy up in prayer, not only this place but other places,” Womack said.

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