Transitional care from hospital to home is especially challenging when patients have no home. Shelters for homeless people often have a shortage of beds, are not prepared to care for post-acute patients, and often require that clients leave for the day. The result is that recently discharged homeless patients are often readmitted in a cycle of costly, ineffective care.
In 1985, the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) set aside 25 beds at a local shelter for homeless patients needing transitional care. The essential need for the service led BHCHP to the establish Barbara McInnis House in 1993, named for a beloved registered nurse who dedicated decades to caring for Boston's homeless population.