Clinic offers caring for Boston’s homeless women

Marie Szaniszlo

 

At 7:30 one recent morning, an hour before her clinic at St. Anthony Shrine opened, Andrea Caputo went looking for one of her patients on the streets of Boston.

The woman was about 22, had been running away from home since she was 13 and, like many of Caputo’s patients, she was an addict, which made her especially susceptible to being taken advantage of. So after three or four weeks without seeing her at the clinic, Caputo, a nurse practitioner with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, set out to find her with Mary Ann Ponti, the shrine’s director of outreach — to no avail.

 “It’s frustrating and heartbreaking because we wanted to make sure that she’s safe,” Caputo said after looping from Downtown Crossing to Haymarket to Faneuil Hall and back.

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