Medical Respite Care

Sick or Injured in Need of a Safe Place to Recover

Men and women who are both homeless and sick face especially difficult challenges when they are sick, injured, or discharged from the hospital in need of a secure, supportive place to recuperate. The needs fall across the spectrum of illnesses. Chemotherapy can be exhausting. Broken bones require cautious care. Burns need careful and frequent dressing changes. Patients facing a terminal illness benefit from palliative care. These and other serious medical problems place Boston's homeless men and women at risk that their conditions will worsen.

Essential Short-Term Care for the Critically Ill

BHCHP provides "medical respite care", short-term medical and recuperative services for homeless people who are far too sick for life in shelters or on the streets, but who are not sick enough to occupy a costly hospital bed. BHCHP provides respite care to increasingly acute patients who would otherwise have no place to go for pre- and post-operative care; for care while enduring chemotherapy and radiation therapy; for recuperation after an injury; and even for end-of-life care. The 24/7 program treats people experiencing a wide array of illnesses including pneumonia, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cirrhosis and heart failure. The average length of stay is about two weeks and referrals come from virtually every hospital in the greater Boston area as well as directly from our clinicians in the shelters and on the streets. 

The Barbara McInnis House

The Barbara McInnis House is BHCHP's 104-bed medical respite facility located at Jean Yawkey Place on the campus of Boston Medical Center that provides short-term medical and recuperative services for homeless people who are far too sick for life in shelters but not sick enough to occupy a costly acute care hospital bed. The facility is named for Barbara McInnis (1935-2003), a remarkably generous and talented nurse who cared for thousands of Boston's homeless men and women while advocating tirelessly in their interest. The Barbara McInnis House has become a nationally recognized and emulated facility that continues her legacy.

For patients and providers looking for more complete information on services provided at the Barbara McInnis House, please see our FAQ sheet.

For providers looking to admit a patient, please see our admittance requirements before filling out an admission form.

If you are a patient with questions, please visit our For Patients page.

The Stacy Kirkpatrick House

The Stacy Kirkpatrick House is a step-down respite facility, welcoming patients previously recovering from surgeries, long-term treatments, and other ailments at the Barbara McInnis House. The Stacy Kirkpatrick House -- named after a beloved nurse (1964-2016) who was known for her infectious positivity and her unwavering compassion for our patientss -- offers 20 medical respite beds and is run by BHCHP nurses and operations staff. BHCHP’s step down model allows for medically frail patients to transition from round-the-clock care at the Barbara McInnis House to low-risk care at the Stacy Kirkpatrick House to long term housing facilitated by our case managers on staff.

The facility is a joint venture between BHCHP, the Pine Street Inn, and Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation. The rest of the building – The Francis Grady Apartments – houses 30 formerly homeless individuals – many of whom are medically frail – in studio apartments managed by Pine Street Inn. These residents can easily walk over to the Stacy Kirkpatrick House for medical care, if needed.

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