Boston Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital will invest nearly $3 million over three years into housing stability through the Innovative Stable Housing Initiative (ISHI), a pilot project with the goal to identify, assess, and fund strategic approaches to increase housing stability for Greater Boston’s most vulnerable populations. The initiative marks the first time these Boston hospitals are working together to invest in housing as a social determinant of health through multiple investment approaches. Each hospital’s investment is part of an agreement with Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Determination of Need (DoN) Community Health Initiative. Using a participatory grantmaking process, hospitals are partnering with community organizations throughout the decisionmaking process, from planning and research to the design and implementation.
To streamline its work, ISHI is comprised of three funds. The first is a Flex Fund, supported by all three hospitals, which aims to increase access to resources for individuals and families to maintain or attain stable housing. Consultation with the community showed that existing funds for housing stabilization were insufficient to meet the need and eligibility criteria often limited access for residents experiencing housing instability. The ISHI flex fund seeks to fill that gap. After a thorough request for proposals (RFP) review process, three organizations, Casa Myrna Vasquez, Urban Revival, and Homestart have been selected and will receive grants totaling nearly $500,000 for one year.
The second is an Upstream Fund, supported by Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital, which strives to support policy and systems change efforts around stable housing. The third is a Resident-Led planning process, supported by Boston Medical Center, which aims to engage Boston’s working-class people of color to design a separate grantmaking process. This will also engage the Center for Economic Democracy, Boston Ujima Project, and Right to the City in the process. Facilitated by Health Resources in Action, over the last 18 months, ISHI has engaged over 100 housing advocates, health care provider organizations, and community residents through key informant interviews, focus groups, feedback sessions, and an Advisory Committee.
Boston Medical Center, located in Boston’s historic South End, is a private, non-profit, 567-bed, academic medical center and the primary teaching affiliate for Boston University School of Medicine. Recognized for its high-quality, nationally ranked and comprehensive medical care for the entire family, individuals have access to the most current treatment and advancements at Boston Medical Center. The Boston Medical Center physicians lead the way in pioneering new therapies that impact the care of consumers, locally and worldwide.
Boston Children’s Hospital is a 404-bed comprehensive center for pediatric health care. As one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the United States, Boston Children’s Hospital offers a complete range of health care services for children from birth through 21 years of age. Boston Children’s Hospital has approximately 25,000 inpatient admissions each year and the 200+ specialized clinical programs schedule 557,000 visits annually.
Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital is an international leader in virtually every area of medicine and has been the site of pioneering breakthroughs that have improved lives around the world. A major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital has a legacy of excellence that continues to grow. With two hospitals, over 150 outpatient practices, and over 1,200 physicians, the hospital serves individuals from New England, throughout the United States, and from 120 countries around the world.
This was reported by Brigham and Women’s Hospital on August 7, 2019.
Contact information: Boston Medical Center, One Boston Medical Center Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02118; 617-638-8000; Website: www.bmc.org
Contact information: Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215; 617-355-6000; Website: www.childrenshospital.org
Contact information: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115; 617-732-5500; Website: www.brighamandwomens.org