Homeless women offered medical care — plus a haircut, facial, and even a movie

The Boston Globe

The quiet waiting room at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program is transformed into a buzz of activity every Saturday, offering women, most of whom are homeless, free medical care and welcoming them to a day of fun — with haircuts, facials, arts and crafts, and board games.

“I started coming a few months ago. I love the staff. It’s been helping with depression, helping with any problem I might have,” said Winn, who’s now the president of the Boston Area Drug Users Union, an informal support group.

In one corner, a group of women played bingo, while others danced and sang karaoke in the middle of the room. A table near the back was filled with markers, beads, and nail polish. Movies were shown in a separate room.

All these activities are part of HER Saturday, a program that offers a medical clinic for women who have suffered abuse, are homeless, or are in need of health care services, said Melinda Thomas, the program’s associate medical director.

“We wanted to create a safe space for women to come to,” Thomas said Saturday morning. “Just a place they can call their own, a place where there could be some community building, a place to let their hair down in response to all this repeated trauma they experience every day on the street.”

Read more