Health care with dignity

2 min read

Alum Robert Taube helps homeless people build healthier lives—and self-esteem.

Casey Hubbs’s world crumbled after her husband died, and she wound up living under a bridge in Boston. Her existence was grim, and she felt ashamed. “I smelled bad, I looked bad, and I lived in constant fear,” she remembers. “There was no food half the time.” When outreach staff from the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) found her freezing on the streets one night, they brought her to safety. For the next few years, Hubbs was in and out of the program’s medical respite unit as she grappled with homelessness, addictions, and cancer. Finally, she stabilized. “They gave me back my self-esteem,” says the 64-year-old. “They treat you like you’re part of the family. Even a dry pair of socks can save your life.”

To many Bostonians, homeless people such as Hubbs are anonymous and marginalized. But to BHCHP’s 350 employees, they’re individuals who deserve attention, kindness, respect, and hope. The program helps more than 11,000 homeless people each year build healthier lives through care delivered at 80 sites around the city, from clinics to soup kitchens to heated grates. Its staff not only helped Hubbs recover physically and emotionally, but also helped her find an apartment where she now lives with three cats.