Why We Walk: Winter Walk

As New England's largest safety-net hospital, Boston Medical Center is a leading expert in looking at the social determinants of health when caring for patients—it’s at the core BMC’s Vision 2030 initiative, which aims to make Boston the healthiest urban population by 2030. Homelessness and housing insecurity (a history of homelessness, moving at least twice in a year or falling behind on rent) are growing concerns among BMC patients, which is why it is a key area of focus for Vision 2030. Both homelessness and housing insecurity are linked to poor child health outcomes and missed educational opportunities, which can adversely impact employment opportunities and financial stability over a lifetime. Despite the desperate need for affordable housing, only one in four eligible families have access to it. To add, this often comes with lengthy waiting periods—in Boston alone, the waitlist for affordable housing units is eight to 10 years.

Homelessness can be stressful and dangerous, leading to and exacerbating medical issues. BMC steps in to help secure stable housing for patients, adhering to the belief that with a place to call home, patients and their families are able to grow and thrive.