The JAMA Network

Addressing the medical issues of homeless people is the health equity challenge of our time. The most recent US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report on homelessness, published in 2015, estimated that about 564 000 homeless people in the United States live in shelters and on the streets. This figure, based on a point-in-time snapshot on a single night each January, may well be an underestimate, given varying definitions of homelessness, peripatetic populations, and the lack of robust surveillance systems.

Read More
Spare Change News


Diamond O’Connell spent 15 years without a home, but in the time she spent homeless, she gained a family.  The other people she met living on the Boston streets became her brothers and sisters, a family she would never stop supporting, evenas some of their names were read aloud Wednesday at the 27th Annual Interfaith Homeless Memorial Service. The 92 names read by various faith leaders in the community were homeless men and women who had died in the past year.

Read More
Reunited for the Holidays

Last December, Cheryl was homeless and struggling with opioid addiction. And most painfully, she had lost custody of her 7-year-old daughter Lilly, forbidden even from calling her to wish her Merry Christmas and to say, “I love you.”

A lot can happen in a year. Today, Cheryl is in recovery, has stable housing, and is working hard to regain full custody of Lilly.  And she’s counting the days until the pair take a Christmas eve train ride to New Hampshire’s “North Pole” on the Polar Express, bake cookies for Santa, have a sleepover, then open presents and eat brunch with Lilly’s grandparents.

Read More
Yvonne Abraham


“Hey, my babies!”

A small woman, her hair cropped close to her head, her pajamas swimming on her sunken frame, bounded into the airy atrium. She made a beeline for a pair of labs — one blond, one black — so happy to see her that their tails seemed to be wagging them.

“Where’s the reindeer ears?” Rogenia demanded. Last week, the dogs were wearing ears that made them, improbably, even more adorable.

Read More
Easing the Suffering of Those Who Have So Little

Everyone at our Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s Barbara McInnis House knows Claire.  She is a slight, quiet woman, with dark, nearly black hair whose bangs rest on her brow.  Claire is known for her beautiful origami creations, which she gives to staff and patients as an expression of her friendship and gratitude.  When she first arrived at BMH, her fear of elevators and extreme introversion made it quite challenging for Claire, especially when she needed to travel back and forth to chemotherapy and radiation treatments at neighboring Boston Medical Center.  As time went on, Claire began to realize that, in her words, she “did not have to be scared at the Barbara McInnis House” because she receives the care and compassion she needs here.

Read More
Elizabeth Cooney


For nearly two dozen General Electric professionals who took classes at Harvard Medical School in November, study was far removed from a typical day at the office. They operated on (simulated) patients, shadowed health professionals serving homeless people, evaluated an ethical dilemma and even grabbed a hula hoop during an activity break.

Read More
On behalf of everyone at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, we extend our deepest thanks for joining us in supporting our 8th Annual Medicine that Matters Gala honoring Anne Finucane & Mike Barnicle, Kate Walsh, President & CEO, Boston Medical Center and Dr. Peter Slavin, President, Massachusetts General Hospital, along with a special tribute to Tiffany and David "Big Papi" Ortiz.
Thanks to all of you, we had a record-breaking 650+ attendees and raised over $1,056,355! Your generosity will have an immediate and positive impact on the lives of the 11,000 men, women and children in our care. As grateful as we are for this incredible outpouring of support, we believe one of our donors said it best: "Rarely are you able to sit in a room with so many people that deeply believe in a cause. It's truly amazing." Please know that your genuine belief in our mission means the world to us and our patients.

Maureen & John Hailer

Linda Pizzuti Henry

Boston Medical Center - Kate Walsh, President & Chief Executive Officer & Massachusetts General Hospital - Peter L. Slavin,M.D., President

Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America & Mike Barnicle, MSNBC Commentator

Read More
An act of senseless violence ends with dignity and compassionate care

In August of 2015, the vicious attack of a sleeping homeless man in Boston by two brothers hit news outlets across the country. Fueled by anti-immigration sentiments, the men beat long-time BHCHP patient, Guillermo, 58 years old and barely 5 feet tall. Guillerrmo has been a lawful permanent resident of the United States for many years. Through the kindness of people like you, Guillermo’s story does not end with violence and hatred, but with compassion, healing, dignity, and hope.

Read More
Credit: Jesse Costa, WBUR
Allison Bond, Photo: Jesse Costa


Tommy Blais was only 16 when a motorcycle accident left him with a painful broken bone and a dependence on prescription opioids. After his doctor tried to cut the number of pain pills Blais was taking, he found the drugs on the street and eventually turned to sniffing and injecting heroin. Now he’s in recovery, but not before seeing the dangers of illegal drugs.

Read More
Mark Labbe


Physicians, dentists and medical students came together at St. John's Seminary in Brighton to attend this year's annual "White Mass" and to listen to a talk by president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Dr. James O'Connell, Oct. 15.

Sponsored by the Guild of St. Luke of the Archdiocese of Boston, an organization of Catholic physicians, the White Mass celebrates the work they do on a daily basis.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley celebrated the White Mass in the chapel of St. John's Seminary.

Read More


Subscribe to Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program RSS