Health and Wellness Opportunities


Mayor’s Health Line

What is the Mayor’s Health Line?
The Mayor’s Health Line works to ensure Boston residents’ ability to access services and programs that promote health and wellness. The MHL staff is available to help residents with a variety of services including, answering questions about health insurance eligibility, enrolling in health insurance, finding primary care providers, finding social services, locating free clinics and many more.

The Mayor’s Health Line has two certified SHINE counselors onsite who can help you or your loved ones with any Medicare questions. The SHINE counselors are trained and certified by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs in many areas of health benefits, including Medicare A&B covered services, prescription drug options, Medigap insurance plans, Medicaid, and free or reduced cost health care programs.

How can I get more information?
For more information please call 617-534-5050 / Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710.

Flyer: English | Español | Kreyòl
Top of Page


Photovoice Project

What is the Photovoice Project?

Photovoice was a needs assessment conducted in 4 housing developments in Boston where participants were given a camera each week and asked to take pictures in response to each of the following three questions: “What does healthy look like to you?”, “What motivates you to stay healthy?”, and “What makes it difficult to stay healthy?” Researchers and residents then got together into focus groups and discussed and wrote narratives about the four questions above as they pertained to their pictures. You will find some of these pictures and their corresponding narratives in the top left hand corner of each poster below. The researchers used the information gathered and identified common themes and social contextual factors that influence obesity among Boston public housing residents through their pictures and their stories.

All of the information provided in the focus groups helped guide the development of a weight management website called CuesWeight that will be used by Resident Health Advocates of public housing to provide behavioral counseling on weight management to public housing residents during a 2 year efficacy and feasibility trial that will start in July 2016.

Resident’s pictures and stories have been converted into a poster for each of the four housing development: 

How can I get more information?

For more information please call or email Lisa Quintiliani at (617) 638-2777.

Top of Page


Fair Foods

What is the Fair Foods Program?
The Fair Foods program offers Boston Housing Authority (BHA) residents of specific sites affordable and healthy fruits and vegetables. For just $2, residents can buy a 12-pound bag of various fruits and vegetables. Fair Foods serves all residents at the following BHA sites: Amory, Annapolis, Bellflower, Charlestown, Franklin Field, Lower Mills, Mary Ellen McCormack, MM Collins/Spring Street, St. Botolph, Walnut Park and West Broadway.

How do I join?
There are no eligibility requirements or registration required. You may buy as many bags as you need. For more information, contact (617) 288-6185. 
Top of Page

Fair Shoes

What is the Fair Shoes Program?
The Fair Shoes program is committed to educating the public on the laws that require diabetics on Medicare be offered therapeutic shoes and custom insoles, and helping those who qualify to get shoes every year.

Am I eligible for Fair Shoes?
If you are diabetic, on Medicare, visit your doctor regularly and have problems with your feet, you may be eligible. For more information on the program and/or to volunteer at your site, contact (617) 824-0748.
Top of Page

Greater Boston Food Bank Program

What is the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) program?
BHA partners with the Greater Boston Food Bank to deliver high-quality, perishable food to various BHA sites. The food is then set up on tables, similar to a farmers' market. Clients "shop" at each table, choosing from a variety of fresh produce, dairy products, frozen meat and other high-protein items. Volunteers play an integral role in the program, helping with all aspects of unloading, set up, distribution and breakdown.

BHA in the process of establishing several new sites in 2014. Stay tuned for more details shortly.
Top of Page

Gladys’ Seniors In Action (Exercise/Fitness Classes)

What is Gladys’ Seniors In Action?
Gladys’ Seniors In Action is a partnership between BHA and The Jamaica Plain Coalition Tree of Life/Arbol de Vida for over 10 years. The program offers exercise classes for people 40 years and older, people with disabilities and seniors. All classes are conducted in English and Spanish and the program also offers health education workshops throughout the year. Classes are held on Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Amory Apartments, 125 Amory Street, Boston.

How do I join?
For more information about the program, contact (617) 522-4832.
Top of Page

Tooth Smart Healthy Start Program (BU Dental School)

What is Tooth Smart Healthy Start Program?
Since 2008, BHA and Boston University School of Dental Medicine have partnered to bring dental health to families with children between the ages of 0 and 5 years old. The Tooth Smart Healthy Start Program offers free dental screenings, fluoride applications and dental health education to families. The goal is to improve children’s general health through improving dental health. The program is also available to pregnant mothers. The program is offered at various BHA Family Developments and all services and participation are completely confidential. This program is also part of a federally funded research study designed to demonstrate the value of providing dental screenings, fluoride treatments and education to public housing residents. These services are available in both English and Spanish.

How do I join?
For more information and to find out if the program is available in your development, contact Alana Casciello, Research Project Manager, BU School of Dental Medicine at (617) 414-1177.
Top of Page

Partners in Health and Housing Prevention Research Center (PHH-PRC)

What is the Partners in Health and Housing Prevention Research Center (PHH-PRC)?
The Partners in Health and Housing Prevention Research Center (PHH-PRC) is a partnership among researchers, community members, and public agencies since 2001. The PHH-PRC’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of BHA residents and reduce health disparities by engaging residents in community-centered research efforts and prevention activities. The PHH-PRC is one of 37 prevention research centers nationwide and part of CDC’s nationwide network of academic researchers, public health agencies, and community members conducting applied research in disease prevention and control. 

The program consists of two long-standing sections - the Resident Health Advocate Program and the Flyer Information and Survey Project.

The Resident Health Advocate Program trains public housing residents as community health workers, with preparation tailored to the health needs and concerns of their fellow residents. The program is housed within the Center’s Training and Evaluation Core. The role of trained residents as specialized community health workers in public housing has been at the heart of two core research projects of the PHH-PRC (including the one in progress), and the collaborative process of developing the program has also been described in a publication.

The Flyer Information and Survey Project is an innovative effort developed and administered by the Community Committee for Health Promotion (CCHP). Each year, the CCHP develops a flyer to tell residents a door-to-door survey will be conducted in the coming weeks. The CCHP then develops a short questionnaire focused on residents’ health-related concerns, trains a various residents to conduct the door-to-door survey and reports the results back to the community and to the PHH-PRC partners. The survey results inform the PHH-PRC’s planning and decision-making about programs and research projects.

How do I join/get more involved?

To learn more about the PHH-PRC and/or to become involved, visit the website and contact any of the PHH-PRC members. You may also contact Rachel Goodman, CSD Director, at (617) 988-4021. To become more involved with the Community Committee for Health Promotion, contact Eugenia Smith, CCHP Chairperson, at (617) 635-5366.
Top of Page

MGH Charlestown Monument Street Counseling Center

What is the MGH Charlestown Monument Street Counseling Center?
Monument Street Counseling Center is an affiliate of MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center located at 76 Monument Street within the BHA’s Bunker Hill/Charlestown Development. Opened in April 2008, the counseling center was established in partnership with BHA, MGH and the City of Boston. The mission is to broaden mental health and substance abuse services in the community.

The center provides an array of outpatient counseling services, including anxiety, domestic violence and substance abuse therapy. The center offers comprehensive evaluation and individualized treatment planning and various types of therapy (individual, group, family and couples).  The center also gives referrals for medication treatment and for medical services at MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center and other facilities.

How do I join?
For more information and/or to access services, call MGH Charlestown at (617) 724-8135.
Top of Page


Domestic Violence and Family Justice

Boston Housing Authority (BHA) has several policies and programs to assist applicants and residents in situations of domestic violence and family justice.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) policy is gender-neutral, and its protections are available to male and female victims of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.
Top of Page

Trauma Recovery Teams: Resource for Residents Impacted by Violent or Traumatic Events

What are Trauma Recovery Teams?
The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) increased resources to support Boston communities in the form of 8 Trauma Recovery Teams at Community Health Centers in Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan and Roxbury.Teams are staffed with a trauma trained clinician and a trained community health worker. Together they coordinate community prevention, response, care, and longer term recovery services. Most importantly, the trauma recovery teams are an ongoing resource for residents impacted by violent or traumatic events, with services available on an on‐going basis after the short term crisis response needs are addressed. Residents are able to use this resource regardless of when an incident took place and services will be available for as long as community members need support with coping and rehabilitation. See Trauma Recovery Teams’ Contact Information.

How can I get more information?
For more information on the Trauma Recovery Centers and how to connect with someone from the centers listed below, please contact Tegan Evans at 617-534-2382 or visit the Boston Public Health Commission website.

Top of Page


Stay connected and up to date