A jewel for the homeless celebrated in Jamaica Plain

A collection of Red Sox and Patriots caps lines a windowsill. A purple comforter is neatly folded on a bed. A box of Raisin Bran sits on a counter.

Warren Magee is proud of his new home at Francis Grady Apartments in Jamaica Plain after several years of being homeless.

On Saturday, Magee joined more than 100 people to celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 30-unit affordable housing and medical complex on Walnut Avenue.

“I am beyond words,” Magee said, a smile shining across his face.

The Boston native spent two years living at the Pine Street Inn. Before that, he slept anywhere he could find a warm or dry spot — abandoned cars, empty buildings, and MBTA stations, he said.


“This is redemption for all of that,” said Magee, seated in his power wheelchair, in his cozy studio apartment. “I’m on top of the world right now.”

The $10 million-plus complex, funded by a mix of city and state affordable housing funds, is a joint project of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and the nonprofit Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp.

The red, three-story building is the former site of the Barbara McInnis House, a short-term medical care facility run by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program that relocated to Albany Street in the South End.

Along with 30 studio apartments, the complex also includes the Stacy Kirkpatrick House, a 20-bed medical facility providing respite care, on the first floor.

The project, which took eight years to develop, was a collaboration of many agencies, said Barry Bock, chief executive for the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

“I think what sustained us was the partnerships . . . and the neighbors, and the community,” Bock said in an interview. “Three hundred and thirty people signed a petition supporting us.”


“There were times where we didn’t think we’d get here,” said Richard Thal, executive director of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation.

Kirkpatrick House is equipped with three medical clinics, a nurses station, handicapped-accessible showers, and other amenities.

“It’s a jewel that’s in a neighborhood that has always welcomed us,” said Sarah Ciambrone, director of clinical innovations at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

The medical floor is named for the late Stacy Kirkpatrick, a nurse practitioner who cared for homeless people. It will be a transition facility for patients discharged from the Barbara McInnis House. It will officially open June 6, Ciambrone said.

Maria Sanes, a native of Puerto Rico, came to Boston a year ago for liver surgery. She lived at the McInnis House before moving to the Grady apartments two months ago.

Her apartment is bright, clean, and decorated with flowers on the wall.

“I feel good,” she said, seated at her kitchen table. “I know that this is not a shelter.”

Alexandra Koktsidis can be reached at alexandra.koktsidis