Health Care Without Walls was founded on the premise that women experiencing poverty and homelessness were falling through the healthcare safety net and needed attention. That was true when Dr. Roseanna Means founded the organization in 1999, and sadly it holds true today. Despite Boston’s many healthcare resources, vulnerable women with health problems suffer an array of barriers to getting treatment when they lack stable housing, adequate heat, healthy food, sufficient childcare, personal safety, transportation, and clothing, for example. Our staff uniquely address the multitude of gaps in care that exist in the lives of women who are focused on survival. The chaos and bureaucratic challenges of poverty and homelessness require innovative solutions such as this “safety net below the safety net” to cut through the red tape. Every year, we give thousands of women and children the means to move forward to better health, longer lives, a sense of purpose, improved self-worth, and renewed connections with the community.
We love these women. We are humbled by their strength and fortitude to continue each day. We are honored to be there and to care for them. Our innovative and compassionate approach to healthcare is saving lives. We look to the future with great hope and anticipation to build on our mission:
To improve the lives of women who are homeless or marginally housed through quality healthcare, education and advocacy.
- All people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
- Optimal health care is delivered when providers take into account the context of people’s lives and prioritize their need to feel safe and respected. This approach facilitates trust-based relationships between patients and providers.
- Clients who are motivated to improve their health need to be recognized. It is important to value, respect and support all intentional self-healing behaviors, no matter how small.