Before Running BHCHP, O’Connell Washed Feet of Boston’s Homeless
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.
After his residency, in the 1980s, O’Connell was assigned to work at a nurse’s clinic for the Pine Street Inn shelter. Through continuation and expansion of his work at the clinic, O’Connell eventually transitioned from washing feet to providing a variety of care for homeless people throughout Boston, including riding from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in a Pine Street Inn van on Mondays and Wednesdays, looking for homeless people who might need help.
His lecture, titled “Lessons from the Streets: Three Decades Caring for Boston’s Rough Sleepers,” highlighted his experiences medically serving the inner-city homeless for the past 30 years.