Places of worship are considered the cornerstone of the community and now they are being transformed into vaccination clinics in Middletown.
The driving force behind the makeshift vaccine clinic is the rate at which Blacks and other communities of color are getting vaccinated.
Cross Street A.M.E. Zion Church is the home of the latest vaccine clinic in the city.
"We want to make sure that communities of color have access to the vaccine," said Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. "We think that partnerships with the community health centers are key in order to make sure that people of color have the opportunity to get vaccinated."
David and Mary Cooper have been members of Cross Street A.M.E. Zion Church for years and tell NBC Connecticut when the opportunity to get the vaccine popped up, the couple wanted to get the vaccine together.
"We have to think in terms of everybody and by getting the vaccine I'm protected and I'm also protecting the public and my family," said Mary Cooper.
"It's a community activity and we all need to get the shot," said David Cooper.
State, city, and faith-based leaders are turning to their relationships with the community and its churches to offer both a familiar and comforting environment.
"We need to get the vaccine and it's something that we have to do as a community," said Reverend Moses Harvill, lead pastor at Cross Street A.M.E. Zion Church. "We have decided that we're going to live and getting the vaccine is a great tool."
Reverend Robyn Anderson is also a pastor at Cross Street A.M.E. Zion Church and worked with a coalition of pastors to get the clinic up and running.
"We've got to come to where people are and where they feel comfortable enough to be able to come in," said Anderson. "The church is one place where the community can trust and faith-based leaders as messengers."
Middletown leaders wanted to help provide both easy and efficient options for communities of color after recognizing the disparities in which P.O.C. are getting vaccinated.
"The numbers are just not where they are for white residents," said Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim.
"We're seeing very few people of color coming to our vaccination clinics," said Kevin Elak, acting director of Middletown's Health Department.
Cross Street A.M.E. Zion Church plans to host a vaccine clinic every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and appointments are required. Beginning next week, the church will begin vaccinating those 65 and older.