PICS Organization Name
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
Sirad Hassan '20, Naomi Shifrin '21, Gavin Hall '18, Mikaela Gerwin '19, Jamie Fan '17
The mission of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless is "To provide or assure access to the highest quality health care for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the greater Boston area." BHCHP serves more than 11,000 men, women, and children each year, in 45 locations, with 400 staff members.
We offer a limited number of unpaid, non-Masters level internships throughout the year. Individuals can explore a career in medicine, public health or human services at BHCHP while gaining experience and in-depth knowledge in multiple areas of homeless medicine, including but not limited to: walk-in clinics, medical respite care, and medical office administration.
BMCHP offers interns three to five "brown bag" lunch seminars during the summer, featuring staff speakers from a range of teams and sites. These are designed to further enhance each intern's education around homelessness and health care.
Undergraduate internships are most often structured to combine a variety of service experiences and programs at multiple sites. Whenever possible, we look to provide balance in our internships by assigning roles that involve patient contact in clinical settings and work that is more administrative in nature. Because these internships are based on volunteer openings it can be difficult to predict availability well in advance.
Previous PICS interns have worked on our Research, Hep C, and Street Teams.
We seek applicants who are mature, articulate, and enthusiastic and demonstrate ability in the following areas: organizational, time management, writing, attention to detail, ability to learn quickly and work independently, with a high level of emotional intelligence. A history of volunteer service and prior health care experience (professional, volunteer/intern, coursework) are preferred. A history of working with underserved populations is preferred. We seek multi-lingual candidates who can demonstrate successful cultural affirmation in diverse settings.
- Genuine interest in getting to know individuals experiencing homelessness
- Adept at problem solving
- Safety awareness
- Good organizational skills
- Professional presentation
- Ability to follow directions, but work with limited direct supervision
- Ability to be flexible in supporting other tasks, as needed
Expected Start Time
Expected End Time
No earlier than May 30 - no later than August 23
Meets Certificate Requirement
Yes, Global Health Policy
Before intern can start she or he must submit:
- Immunization records
- CORI background check
Volunteer orientation required. There might be some shadowing opportunities at night, but no other work required.
With a lot of colleges in the Boston area, there may be opportunities to sublet spaces for the summer months. Many of our interns and AmeriCorps members have had success using Craigslist to find good options. We suggest folks explore the following neighborhoods for sub-lets: Allston, Brighton, Roxbury, JP, and Brookline.
The strengths of BHCHP include incredible compassion and support within the organization and even between departments, regardless of the level of one's position. I've never met a professional group of people who care about one another as genuinely and thoroughly as BHCHP, and I think this level of support translates to genuine and effective care of patients as well.
—Jaimie Fan '17
In the same country, the same city and sometimes the same room, two people with radically different life paths pass each-other. The doctor and the homeless patient. The doctor with his Harvard credentials who has become famous from doing good, hard work for the people... We have seen these lives cross paths over and over again this summer in radical, incredible ways. My internship met both those goals of social change and education in showing me how to walk in another's shoes as I crossed paths with them.
—Mikaela Gerwin '19
BHCHP does an incredible job of meeting that goal. I learned so much about social change and the innovative work BHCHP does in providing the very best healthcare in the country to one of the very most vulnerable populations. I learned immensely-- this was educationally and personally enriching to the highest degree. —Naomi Shifrin '21
This internship exceeded all of my expectations as I continuously found myself setting new goals for each week. I had the opportunity EVERY DAY to engage with patients on the streets or in their homes, and I had such an enriching experience talking to each and every patient and hearing the gravity of their traumas and life experiences. —Sirad Hassan '20