BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)– Massachusetts will be reimbursed for the costs of providing outpatient care sites to homeless populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the state $7,339,766 through a public assistance grant. The funds are to cover the costs for setting up and operating isolation and recovery sites in Everett, Lexington, Northampton, Pittsfield, and Taunton for homeless persons who contracted COVID-19 between April 2020 and May 2021.

“FEMA is pleased to be able to assist the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with these costs,” said FEMA Region 1 Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich. “Providing resources for our partners on the front lines of the pandemic fight is critical to their success, and our success as a nation.”

The outpatient sites were created to reduce capacity pressures on hospitals, since hospitals could safely discharge stable COVID-19 positive homeless individuals to these sites. They were staffed by nurses on a temporary basis to monitor the health, safety, and welfare of patients.

To date, FEMA has provided more than $1.5 billion in Public Assistance grants to reimburse the state for pandemic-related expenses. For more information about the COVID-19 response in Massachusetts, go to https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4496.