Patient Stories

Jackie knows what it feels like to walk in our patients’ shoes.

Jackie, one of our medical assistants, is a steady and welcoming presence at our clinic in Boston’s Southampton Street 438-bed men’s shelter. On any given day, she’s deftly multitasking, busy calming anxious patients, ascertaining their symptoms, taking vital signs, and assisting with benefits. She’s talented, balancing precision with a warmth that radiates throughout the clinic. And our patients respond to her by letting down their guard, sharing their struggles and asking for help.

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Larry's Story
When you see Larry Adams in our lobby, you may not notice the wheelchair he needs to sit in or be aware of all the serious health issues with which he has dealt, but you will definitely be struck by the twinkle in his eyes, his bright smile and the hearty welcome to patients, staff and guests as they enter our lobby. 
 
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This past summer, the life of a gifted U.S. Navy veteran hit rock bottom.

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Sam

From Alone for the Holidays to Home for the Holidays

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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Reunited for the Holidays

Last December, Cheryl was homeless and struggling with opioid addiction. And most painfully, she had lost custody of her 7-year-old daughter Lilly, forbidden even from calling her to wish her Merry Christmas and to say, “I love you.”

A lot can happen in a year. Today, Cheryl is in recovery, has stable housing, and is working hard to regain full custody of Lilly.  And she’s counting the days until the pair take a Christmas eve train ride to New Hampshire’s “North Pole” on the Polar Express, bake cookies for Santa, have a sleepover, then open presents and eat brunch with Lilly’s grandparents.

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Easing the Suffering of Those Who Have So Little

Everyone at our Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s Barbara McInnis House knows Claire.  She is a slight, quiet woman, with dark, nearly black hair whose bangs rest on her brow.  Claire is known for her beautiful origami creations, which she gives to staff and patients as an expression of her friendship and gratitude.  When she first arrived at BMH, her fear of elevators and extreme introversion made it quite challenging for Claire, especially when she needed to travel back and forth to chemotherapy and radiation treatments at neighboring Boston Medical Center.  As time went on, Claire began to realize that, in her words, she “did not have to be scared at the Barbara McInnis House” because she receives the care and compassion she needs here.

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An act of senseless violence ends with dignity and compassionate care

In August of 2015, the vicious attack of a sleeping homeless man in Boston by two brothers hit news outlets across the country. Fueled by anti-immigration sentiments, the men beat long-time BHCHP patient, Guillermo, 58 years old and barely 5 feet tall. Guillerrmo has been a lawful permanent resident of the United States for many years. Through the kindness of people like you, Guillermo’s story does not end with violence and hatred, but with compassion, healing, dignity, and hope.

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The Day that Homelessness Ended

Two years ago, A.J.  took the batteries out of his clock to mark one of the most precious moments of his life. Today, that clock is on the wall of his studio apartment, still frozen at 2:30 p.m., the moment the formerly homeless man moved into his first home in 30 years.

Today, A.J. is happy, healthy and housed, thanks to the lifesaving work of our nurses, doctors  and case managers at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.  And it's your support that makes this critical work possible.

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