August 8, 2008
Backpacks: A welcome gift

A special gift helped give a very warm welcome to the first patients of Jean Yawkey Place, the new facility for the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP). Upon their arrival July 8, each patient was given a backpack filled with clothing, toiletries, gift cards and other much-needed personal items. The BHCHP is led by MGH physician James O'Connell, MD, who is co-founder and president of the organization. 

The donation came through the leadership of the Turner Construction Company, which is currently working on the MGH's Building for the Third Century (B3C). Interested in ways to help the community, Turner employees met with staff from the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, who connected the Turner representatives with the BHCHP. The idea for the backpack donation soon emerged as a way to help meet some needs of the Jean Yawkey Place patients. After presenting the initiative to the members of the B3C project team – which includes individuals from the MGH; Partners HealthCare; Turner; NBBJ Architects; structural engineering firm McNamara/Salvia, Inc.; and mechanical, electrical and plumbing firm Thompson Consultants, Inc. – Turner Construction quickly found donations pouring in. Individuals contributed enough items to fill 100 backpacks, which were delivered to the facility July 7 and awaited the patients when they arrived the following day.

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