Submitted by Delia Harrington on 2017-03-20 16:13.
Since April 2016 when BHCHP opened our Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment (SPOT) in a former conference room, at least 10% of our visitors have immediately sought treatment for their disease. Here, at SPOT, the only program of its kind in the country, we provide medical monitoring following opioid use to prevent fatal overdose and promote access to long term treatment.
Submitted by Delia Harrington on 2017-02-22 15:05.
On February 12th, 2017, over 500 people came together for the first annual Winter Walk in Boston. BHCHP was honored to be one of the 5 partner organizations to work with the Winter Walk and benefit from its inaugural efforts. Along with Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Brookview House, Pine Street Inn, and Y2Y Harvard Square, we shared in this special event.
The first Winter Walk took place Sunday, Feb. 12 seeking to address the needs of Boston’s homeless community and share the real stories and struggles of this population.
As we trudge through the coldest month of the year, thankful for many luxuries we deem standard commodities, our city’s homeless individuals are faced with the terrible reality of New England’s harsh winter weather.
After Jim O’Connell finished Harvard Medical School and completed a residency at Mass General Hospital, he spent two months washing people’s feet.
On Thursday night, O’Connell, founding physician and current president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), gave a lecture as part of the Park Street Corporation Speaker Series on his experiences as a health care provider to Boston’s homeless population.
I met Jon Harris, PA-C, during his days as a PA student at Northeastern University and was immediately impressed. He excelled in my course, and I knew that he was destined to be an impactful clinician. He previously had graduated from Columbia University with a degree in environmental sciences and spent several years working in the nonprofit, nonmedical community. On a friend’s advice, he started volunteering as an EMT in rural Vermont and quickly found a love for medicine.
Jennifer Brody, MD, MPH, Kraft Practitioner alumna (Class of 2014), Internal Medicine physician and Director of HIV Services at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), recently completed an interview with the Kraft Center, offering insight into her reasons for practicing in community health, a summary of the Kraft program's impact on her own career, and updates from her post-Kraft experience.
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.
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.
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.