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As the US harm reduction community grapples with the legal, cultural and political challenges to implementing the nation’s first legal safe consumption space, some innovative designers are playing their part to help mitigate historic overdose levels right now. They are bringing safety interventions to the public restrooms where injection drug use is already occurring.

A contractor in Boston recently incorporated what he believes is the first company dedicated to create overdose-proof bathrooms—or as close as he can get to that—by installing motion detectors.

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MetroWest Daly News

For the second straight year, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church converted its social hall and kitchen into assembly lines to package 10,000 meals for the Outreach Program.

According to Martin, the completed meal packages will be distributed to NuDay, a program helping refugees in Syria, as well as local food pantries such as A Place to Turn in Natick, the Newton Food Pantry and Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

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Wicked Local Burlington

Every national movement starts locally. In this case, the movement to spread the message of and encourage acts of kindness started at the dining room table of Burlington resident Joyce Deliyiannis in 2009, who is the founder of Massachusetts-based nonprofit HELPIS.

HELPIS has grown into a network of a few hundred individual volunteer donors who step in and step up to fulfill requests from numerous organizations across eastern Massachusetts. Civic organizations, including the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, hold annual fundraisers to support HELPIS’ mission.

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Yahoo Finance

Massachusetts' top two youth volunteers of 2019, Julia Cuddy, 17, of Needham and Will Gladstone, 14, of Arlington, were honored in the nation's capital last night for their outstanding volunteer service during the 24th annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Julia and Will – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – received a $1,000 award and personal congratulations from award-winning actress Viola Davis at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

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WCVB Channel 5

5 for Good features the HER Saturday weekly women's health clinic, which offers women experiencing homelessness a safe space. Free services include primary care, haircuts, manicures, and breakfast at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

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You may want to follow these competitors along with those vying for the podium, including our very own David Goldstein.

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Boston Basics

The Basics team is honored to interview Dr. Aura Obando, the Family Team Medical Director at the Boston Health Care For The Homeless Program. According to the Annual Homeless Census, Boston has been making great strides towards addressing family homelessness. Dr. Obando leads the team that provides high quality care to 1,600 families with children during their most vulnerable time. The mother of three small children, Dr. Obando graciously talked to us about how she uses the Basic practice Maximize Love, Manage Stress for the families she serves, as well as to address the secondary trauma that she experiences herself from hearing their stories.

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AP News

Some places have struggled to respond, watching deaths and illnesses mount. But this time, Worcester is a bright spot. City officials planned for an outbreak before it happened and used a coalition of agencies and community groups to meet homeless people where they live.

The relative success in Worcester has limited the illnesses and shown how long-term outreach to homeless people and drug users can pay dividends in times of crisis. The outbreak, which first flared in September, seems to be petering out at 58 confirmed cases.

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Worcester Telegram

“When you already have a diseased organ, adding another infection can lead to increased risk for bad outcomes” like liver failure and death, said Dr. Denise De Las Nueces, medical director of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

To fight the outbreaks, the CDC last month took the unusual step of recommending all U.S. homeless adults get shots to prevent hepatitis A. It was the first time the agency has targeted the homeless in a routine vaccination push.

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Beacon Hill Times

This year, over 60 AmeriCorps members are serving at locations throughout the Back Bay, South End, Fenway, and Kenmore neighborhoods. The Boston Health Care for the Homeless AmeriCorps program has 13 members providing care coordination and health education to homeless individuals and families at the Pine Street Inn, St. Francis House, and the Southampton Street Shelter.

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