Santa Barbara’s homeless and veterans are the focus of an upcoming H1N1 clinic at the Santa Barbara Veterans Hall, 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd., from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

The clinic will take place during a regular Sunday meal for Santa Barbara’s homeless provided by the Organic Soup Kitchen.

The event highlights growing partnerships among public and private agencies within the medical and health-care community to provide care to Santa Barbara’s homeless and at-risk populations.

American Indian Health Services, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine and the Santa Barbara County Medical Reserve Corps are sponsoring this clinic. Volunteer medical staff from Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine and the Medical Reserve Corps will be administering the vaccinations.

The homeless population is often hard to reach through traditional avenues. Organizers believe that reaching out to the population directly through established relationships with the homeless community will be effective in accomplishing their vaccination goals.

While new cases of H1N1 are occurring less frequently as the traditional flu season wraps up, health officials continue to promote vaccination because a resurgence of the virus could occur this spring and because the H1N1 strain is likely to surface again in the coming flu season.

The homeless and veterans are targeted in this outreach effort, but all residents older than 6 months are welcome to receive a free H1N1 flu vaccination.

Click here for more information about other alternative sites to receive free H1N1 flu vaccinations in Santa Barbara County.

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.