COVID-19 Response Fund
As you know, people experiencing homelessness are extraordinarily vulnerable to viruses such as this COVID-19, and given the crowded conditions in which they live, transmission of the illness can happen quickly. Dr. Jessie Gaeta, CEO Barry Bock, Dr. Jim O’Connell, Dr. Denise De Las Nueces and our other medical leadership have been working thoughtfully, diligently and 24/7 with our shelter partners, hospitals, the City, and the State to lead and undertake a comprehensive and multi-faceted response, including:
- On April 10, Boston Hope, the field hospital at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, opened its doors with a 1,000+ bed capacity for COVID-19 positive patients. We are proud partners at Boston Hope, providing clinical services under the same roof with Partners Healthcare and in cooperation with the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. BHCHP manages a 500-bed ward for our patients experiencing homelessness and Partners Healthcare manages a 500-bed ward for patients that do not require hospitalization in an acute care facility.
- Operating testing tents and mobilizing a clinical team to test patients for COVID-19 at select locations around the city,
- Transforming a floor of our 24/7 Barbara McInnis House respite program (52-bed) into a COVID-19 unit caring for people with confirmed cases of COVID-19, reducing the density at area hospitals,
- Equipping and operating a 16-bed medical tent to stem the spread of the virus and care for people who have no safe place to self- isolate while awaiting test results (our sincere thanks to Mayor Walsh and to John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction for building the tents within a matter of days),
- Operating a 24/7 phone hotline for shelter partners’ staff to seek advice from our clinical staff with any questions they have during this crisis,
- Partnering, advising, and learning from our shelter partners, Boston Medical Center and MGH, the City, the Commonwealth, and our sister homeless programs throughout the country on established best practices to respond to this crisis.