06 Sep Metro Housing|Boston Launches Homelessness Prevention Partnership with Boston Medical Center
Boston, MA – Metro Housing|Boston today launched a partnership with Boston Medical Center (BMC) to connect families who visit the Pediatric Department with resources to help prevent homelessness, including more than $800,000 in new state funding to resolve the families’ housing crises. The partnership’s program will be known as Metro Housing at BMC.
Adults who are unable to afford rent are more likely to report being in fair or poor health, having mental distress – including depression, delaying doctor visits, and lacking enough sleep compared to those who never or rarely worry about affording housing expenses. This is Metro Housing’s first-ever partnership with a medical institution that incorporates homelessness prevention services. BMC was selected for the partnership due its long history of providing high quality care and support to vulnerable patients, including those facing eviction or homelessness.
“Housing is one of the most significant social determinants of health that we encounter at Boston Medical Center,” said Dr. Megan Sandel, Associate Director of the GROW clinic at Boston Medical Center. “With the critical resource that Metro Housing will provide, we are confident we can show how integrating housing services into healthcare can improve housing stability and health together.”
With funding from Massachusetts’ Department of Housing and Community Development, Metro Housing will place staff at BMC up to three days per week so that families at risk of homelessness can have access to homelessness prevention resources, crisis intervention services, and long-term stabilization strategies without leaving the hospital. Metro Housing at BMC will be Metro Housing’s 14th instance of placing staff with community partners in the greater Boston region.
Metro Housing will build upon the success of other prevention programs and target those Boston families at BMC who are at greatest risk of homelessness and help them avoid shelter. Last year a similar program run by Metro Housing saved the state $31 million and stabilized housing for more than 1,400 families.
Metro Housing will also help BMC’s social work team identify root causes of the families’ housing insecurity. One in four patients admitted to BMC are homeless. Children’s HealthWatch data from BMC’s pediatric Emergency Department shows that one in three families are housing insecure, meaning they have unsafe housing or are in jeopardy of eviction. This program will help the medical team address the impacts of housing instability on patients’ health.
“Affordable, stable housing positively impacts the health of families and children,” said Christopher Norris, Executive Director of Metro Housing. “We are looking forward to helping more families have a place they can call home.”
About Metro Housing|Boston
Serving more than 25,000 households annually, Metro Housing|Boston is dedicated to mobilizing wide-ranging resources to provide innovative and personalized services that lead families to housing stability, economic security and an improved quality of life. With more than 30 years’ experience piloting and implementing housing programs, it has solidified their position as an industry-leading expert on navigating the affordable housing field. Metro Housing|Boston is committed to making sure that every person in Greater Boston will always have a place to call home. For more information, please visit www.metrohousingboston.org
About Boston Medical Center
Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 487-bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution, receiving more than $116 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2017. It is the 15th largest recipient of funding in the U.S. from the National Institutes of Health among independent hospitals. In 1997, BMC founded Boston Medical Center Health Plan, Inc., now one of the top ranked Medicaid MCOs in the country, as a non-profit managed care organization. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet – 14 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit http://www.bmc.org.
Jeff Landis, Metro Housing|Boston
Jessica Lyons, Boston Medical Center