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We hope you all are using measures to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.

People experiencing homelessness are exceptionally vulnerable to the coronavirus and its complications. Living in crowded shelters, transmission of the illness can happen very quickly. BHCHP is working in close collaboration with our shelter and hospital partners, the City, and the State to enact a swift, comprehensive and multi-faceted response.


BHCHP has mobilized on the front lines to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the most vulnerable.


In a rapid shift into disaster mode, BHCHP’s emergency plan includes:

  • Screening individuals for COVID-19 at the entrance of shelters to identify patients with a potential positive diagnosis;
  • Operating three testing tents at large-volume sites;
  • Operating a newly-transformed wing of our respite program as an isolation unit for patients diagnosed with the virus;
  • Equipping and operating 24/7 the City’s two new medical tents designed to accommodate the anticipated large volume of people who screen positively, giving a safe place to be isolated while test results are secured and receive care for their symptoms. 
  • Operating a 24/7 hotline and mobile service to field concerns from shelter staff, particularly during off-hours, when a person arrives with suspected contact or symptoms.
  • Preparing for a shortage in PPE, by creating a homemade prototype based on models created by other hospitals. 

As this pandemic continues, we will incur significant financial losses, upwards of $1,000,000/month, as we continue and adapt our emergency plan, but we have no other choice to combat COVID-19. The commitment of our staff is unwavering, and their approach to providing the best care possible to an often invisible population is brilliant and selfless.


To read more about our work around our COVID-19 Response efforts, click here. Thank you.



Thousands of individuals find themselves homeless in greater Boston every year. Among them are chronically ill adults, veterans, families, youth, and the elderly. They are the people who stay in emergency shelters or motel rooms, eat in soup kitchens, or visit drop-in centers. They are also the men and women who find themselves on the streets, trying to survive in makeshift shelters under bridges, down alleyways, and behind city buildings.

Over 11,000 homeless individuals are cared for by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program each year. We are committed to ensuring that every one of these individuals has access to comprehensive health care, from preventative dental care to cancer treatment. Our clinicians, case managers, and behavioral health professionals work in more than 45 locations to deliver the highest quality health care to some of our community’s most vulnerable—and most resilient—citizens. BHCHP provides care without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, military service, national origin, immigration status, genetic information or marital status.

Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor
by Dr. Jim J. O'Connell

Dr. O'Connell’s collection of stories and essays, written during thirty years of caring for homeless persons in Boston, gently illuminates the humanity and raw courage of those who struggle to survive and find meaning and hope while living on the streets.

Learn more about the book.

Latest News

“This is a new kind of medicine in Boston,” said Gaeta. “Tent medicine.” Listen to the story from WBUR here. 

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A fastidious man in his 50s, Sam loves reading romantic comedies and keeping his apartment neat and organized. But, when you look in his eyes, you know his life has not always been so orderly.

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Support Team BHCHP in the 2020 Boston Marathon!

The John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program has generously awarded Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) with non-qualified runner entries for the 2020 Boston Marathon. Each April, thousands of accomplished runners descend upon Boston to participate in the legendary Boston Marathon, one of the most prestigious and renowned road racing events across the globe.

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Thank You To Our Leadership Team