Help for Families: An Expanding Need
Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. According to Boston’s annual homeless census, the number of homeless families rose 25% in 2015 from the previous census in 2013. Family structures are shattered by homelessness and, as a result, the emotional and physical health of both children and parents is at risk. The family shelter system has been overwhelmed in recent years, and the move to shelter families in motel and hotel rooms complicates the crisis.
BHCHP's Family Team has been a stable source of care for homeless families since our founding in 1985. We are the primary health care presence in more than 20 family and domestic violence shelters and hotels and motels across greater Boston.
A Dedicated Team Offers Critical Services
BHCHP's skilled Family Team cares for approximately 1600 homeless parents and children every year. Among other services, they offer:
- Ongoing primary care clinics at three of our largest shelter and hotel sites with services that include vaccinations, well-child visits, cervical cancer screenings, weight counseling, and family planning
- Quality nursing and medical care delivered during regular visits to shelters, motels and hotels.
- Behavioral health and substance use disorder counseling
- On-site case management services to connect families with needed social services such as SNAP benefits, cash assistance, transportation support, help with disability and health insurance benefits, advocacy, and more
By delivering comprehensive care onsite where families are, BHCHP’s Family Team has removed many of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that homeless families face in accessing preventive care and managing their health.
Despite these efforts, the problem of family homelessness is dire. More and more families across the U.S. are experiencing homelessness every year. To support BHCHP’s efforts to improve health outcomes and reduce the stressors of homelessness for parents and children, please consider making a donation. Your help is needed today.