Writing and Ethics

Excerpt from patient painting

BHCHP has a long-standing tradition of ethically sharing the stories of our patients through writing, invited presentations, and press engagements, in an effort to help others understand the tremendous challenges faced by people who lack housing and the ways in which health care providers and members of the public can help. Our hope as an Institute is to support BHCHP staff, patients, and others interested in writing about the intersection of homelessness and health.

Stories from the Shadows, Dr. Jim O'Connell’s collection of stories and essays, was written during thirty years of caring for homeless persons in Boston. The book 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 this book here.

Over the years, BHCHP’s staff and patients have shared their stories in countless forums, on topics as varied as family homelessness, the challenges of being newly housed, what we’re learning about treating substance use disorder during a pandemic, the power of simple acts of kindness, and so much more.

Our Writing & Ethics portfolio is led by BHCHP’s President, Dr. Jim O’Connell.

Interested in getting involved in this work? Please send an email to institute@bhchp.org.