Dear Friend ,
I am guessing that we all know, or know of, someone who has contracted COVID-19. Many recover, some do not. The losses are heartbreaking. We see the emotional and physical toll this disease takes on first responders and essential workers on the nightly news, as they bear witness to great suffering with compassion, while also wondering about their own safety and the wellbeing of their families. And then, there is the economic impact, the isolation, the fear about an uncertain future. All so tragically overwhelming.

We see the impact on our clients every day in ways big and small. In a world that was already harsh and nearly impossible to navigate, the added losses from the coronavirus are hard to watch, and even harder to experience. Our staff in the field are supporting clients in ways they hadn’t expected. Sometimes the added challenges leave us searching for words. Other times, the little victories remind us why we put ourselves out there, to be a beacon of light during these dark times. There are many stories of despair, yet if we look hard enough there is also hope.
BTM client happily receiving a supermarket gift card from our nurse practitioner
Bridges to Moms client “Betty,” was a college sophomore, pregnant, living in college housing, studying and working on campus. When the campus shut down due to the coronavirus, she was still a full time student, now homeless and out of work. She found a place to stay short term, knowing that when the baby comes in a few weeks she will have to find a shelter. The apartment where she is staying is overcrowded with toddlers and school-aged kids. “Betty” is trying to self-isolate to protect her unborn child and finish her coursework as best she can. Nurse Amy visited for a pre-natal check, bringing a $200 Stop & Shop gift card and a bag of newborn baby clothes that were donated, providing a moment of joy and hope for a better future on a difficult but typical day. “Betty” was full of gratitude for the help we could offer.
Our screening at Rosie’s Place is difficult but important – it is the only way the shelter can keep its doors open as the sole place for women to go during the day for a meal and a rest during the shutdown in Boston. In addition to the now-restricted daytime services offered such as a hot meal and a place to come in from the cold, Rosie’s Place provides overnight shelter beds for 18 women who have been lucky enough to stay there since the virus hit. Our team is there every day to make sure those who enter are safe to do so. We see the toll the pandemic is taking on those whose lives were already so fragile. I wanted to share a glimpse of what it is like in a video reflection I recently recorded. I hope you will take a moment to watch.
HCWW Nurse Bella with staff from Rosie's Place celebrating the negative COVID-19 test results of the women staying in the shelter
This is a hard time for Massachusetts as we continue to experience the surge in cases and in deaths. Good news is hard to come by. This week, we learned that the 18 women who are staying in the overnight beds at Rosie’s Place were tested for COVID-19 and all the tests came back negative. That is something to celebrate. Those who are forced to endure unsafe shelter that lacks physical distancing are paying a steep price for conditions that are out of their control. Thank you for joining us in the fight to help the women who are homeless – help them find safe shelter, get food, have hope. We all have a long way to go in this war against COVID-19, but we are grateful for every win we can get.
With my continued appreciation, gratitude and wishes for your safety,
Roseanna Means, MD
President & Founder
Health Care Without Walls, Inc.
148 Linden Street, Suite 208
Wellesley, MA 02482

Tel: (781) 239-0290 | Fax: (781) 235-6819