09 Jan Everyone in Boston Deserves a Place to Call Home
By Maura Pensak, Director, Housing Supports
(The following was submitted to The Boston Globe on December 31, 2017 as a response to the article, “A Double Diagnosis — cancer while poor”)
Thank you to Liz Kowalczyk (“A Double Diagnosis,” Dec. 30) for shedding light on the housing needs of those facing serious illness. Metro Housing|Boston also commends Boston Medical Center for their deep investment in housing initiatives, of which we are a partner. Our partnership was established earlier this year within the Pediatrics Department at BMC to connect patients at BMC directly with critical supportive housing services at Metro Housing. A case worker is on site to receive referrals from BMC medical and social services staff so that at-risk families can have access to homelessness prevention resources, crisis intervention services, and long-term stabilization strategies without leaving the hospital.
One in four patients admitted to BMC are homeless. 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.
The 225 referrals from BMC that have been received since June is indicative of the housing plight faced by families who visit the hospital, but also by families in Greater Boston. Metro Housing will continue to work with partners throughout the region to ensure that everyone always has a place to call home.