Since our founding in 1985, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) has been incredibly fortunate to have amazing partner institutions across the city, state, and federal levels. This Veterans Day, we’re delighted to share more about our long partnership with the New England Center & Home for Veterans (NECHV) where our Christine Loeber Clinic is situated. In this unique setting, we’ve been able to take care of veterans who are experiencing homelessness and provide them with the necessary medical and behavioral health services. Many of our patients throughout the program, in our other shelter clinics and on the streets, have served in the military, and we are grateful for their service to our country and to be able to serve them now. Below, please meet Tim, our patient who lives at the NECHV.
Please join us in thanking all our veterans for their timeless service to our nation.
Tim grew up in Greater Boston. When he was 18, he enlisted in the US Navy, following in his father’s footsteps. We met him last year at our clinic at the New England Center and Home for Veterans (NECHV) here in Boston. Tim had just received permanent residency at the NECHV where he learned that there was an onsite clinic managed by the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program on the building’s second floor. With complex physical and mental health issues, Tim could receive his primary care with us right there in the building in which he lived with other veterans.
To meet his medical, behavioral health and specialty care needs, Tim receives care from different health systems, including BHCHP, VA Healthcare and Mass General Hospital, and our BHCHP care team at NECHV, led by his primary care provider Julianne Lavelle, FNP-C, is there to help him every step of the way. Tim feels comfortable with his BHCHP team and is grateful to have their high-quality care and guidance, “It’s fantastic,” he says, “They know me well. I’m in the clinic at least once a week. They take care of me and help me with my meds. And I take a lot of meds. I feel like I matter.”
Tim appreciates having the clinic in his NECHV site especially when he needs immediate attention and the BHCHP staff have been readily available to help him. “When I came in here, I was like a sheepish child. That’s the way I got around people who I don’t know. And they (the BHCHP staff) pulled me out of that real quick and they were good at it. I needed that, especially with my mental health issues. They have been wonderful to me from Day 1.” Julianne is inspired by Tim’s consistent hard work and progress and his ability to advocate for himself. “He’s just been incredible. He’s pleasant, kind, and patient with our busy clinic. It’s an honor to work with him.”
Tim also receives oral health care at our dental clinic at 780 Albany Street where he recently completed his partial dentures procedure. As Tim’s wellbeing improves, he looks forward to going back to college. Now in his late 40s, he’s determined to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration. We’re excited for Tim to continue his journey towards better health and accomplish his life goals, one step at a time.
As we commemorate our veterans and all our military on Veterans Day, the staff at BHCHP recommit ourselves to care for all those who are unstably housed and we are grateful to work with the NECHV. If you’d like to support the work of BHCHP, please feel free to visit our website to learn about ways that you can help our program. Thank you!