Please Read: As a Nurse, I Volunteer Here…


Roseanna Means, 2012 BU Photo ProjectHealth Care Without Walls was founded on the premise that women experiencing poverty and homelessness were falling through the healthcare safety net and needed attention. My vision when I founded this organization in 1999 was to create a new model of care that would break down the access barriers for these women and families in collaboration with existing programs. We would provide a safe, gender-specific, unhurried and unfettered experience within the safe and welcoming shelter locations.

Building trusting relationships with the women we serve is the foundation for our programs. This takes time, a commodity sorely lacking in the modern health care experience. From a single physician reaching out in one shelter, we have grown and expanded our service with the generous donation of volunteer physicians. With a paid nursing staff and community health workers we are now able to provide critical care every day in Boston area shelters, giving thousands of women and children the means to move forward to better health, longer lives, a sense of purpose, improved self-worth, and renewed connections with lost family.

We love these women. We are humbled by their strength and fortitude to continue each day. We are honored to be there and to care for them. Our innovative and compassionate approach to healthcare is saving lives. I am so proud of our partnership with the women and children we serve and look to the future with great hope and anticipation to build on our mission:

To improve the lives of women who are homeless or marginally housed through quality healthcare, education and advocacy.

Roseanna H. Means, MD

Founder and President


Guiding Principles

  • All people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
  • Optimal health care is delivered when providers take into account the context of people’s lives and prioritize their need to feel safe and respected. This approach facilitates trust-based relationships between patients and providers.
  • Clients who are motivated to improve their health need to be recognized. It is important to value, respect and support all intentional self-healing behaviors, no matter how small.