A mobile outreach van in Boston uses data-driven hotspotting to bring on-demand addiction care and harm reduction services directly to high-risk populations

The Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital sponsors a mobile outreach van to reach at-risk populations in Boston neighborhoods with treatment and harm reduction services.

These services include:

  • providing medications for addiction treatment (e.g., buprenorphine)
  • clean syringes
  • naloxone
  • counseling on risk reduction
  • referrals to treatment
  • a wide range of preventive care and chronic disease management

Services are targeted using data on overdose deaths to find those neighborhoods most in need of outreach; four locations are now serviced weekly. 

The program has engaged stakeholders across the continuum of care as well as the police department and local business owners. There is a planned expansion of the program to include fentanyl testing, as well as coordination with other mobile outreach vans in Massachusetts to share best practices. It is supported in part by the GE Foundation, Ford Motor Company, the Hearst Foundation, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, and the Boston Public Health Commission. A toolkit based on CareZONE for communities to replicate this model can be found here

More information on the program can be found here

Uses data-driven hotspotting to bring low-threshold, on-demand addiction care and harm reduction services directly to high-risk populations.

Continuum of Care
Harm Reduction
Type of Evidence
Report with evaluation
Response Approach
Early Intervention
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
Overdose prevention
Syringe service program / Needle exchange

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

An initial process evaluation found that from January-October, 2018, staff made 3,457 contacts with injection drug users; had 248 patient encounters; distributed 36,510 syringes and collected 40,891; distributed 1,257 naloxone kits; and provided 131 prescriptions for buprenorphine.