What is Hearts for the Homeless at Boston University?

Hearts for the Homeless (H4H) at BU is a local chapter of the nonprofit organization Hearts for the Homeless International. Founding officers Tim Willard, Yujia Zuo, Carlo Taglietti, and Ben Suffin brought H4H to BU in 2019, and it is now in its fourth year of operation!

Our mission is to promote heart health and wellbeing among the homeless, an incredibly vulnerable population in our nation. With heart disease being the leading cause of death among men, women, and people of most ethnic groups,1 our primary activity is providing free blood pressure screenings to local homeless shelters that we partner with each week. With each screening event we provide health information approved by the American Heart Association to encourage preventative measures.

Other activities we lead are guest speakers on a variety of public health topics, Journal Club, clinical outreach opportunities for students who wish to contribute to our effort, and other events on health education for both students and the homeless.

Shelter Partners

H4H Boston partners with St. Francis House, Massachusetts’ largest day shelter, and Woods-Mullen Shelter.  We donated our Valentine’s Day care packages to St. Francis House this past semester as well as our homemade reusable masks.

During COVID-19…

During COVID-19, H4H continued supporting Boston’s homeless while keeping safety of students and guests a priority. We created care packages, made reusable face coverings, participated in telehealth screenings with other chapters around the country, and lead our first year of Journal club.

Fall 2021

H4H Boston plans to restart our weekly blood pressure screening events with our shelter partners in person, while still maintaining the safety of students and shelter guests. We are excited to start off the year and continue supporting the homeless!

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Underlying Cause of Death, 1999–2018. CDC WONDER Online Database. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2018. Accessed March 12, 2020.