(CBS News) BOSTON â€“ Weâ€™ve heard a lot in the past week about the doctors, nurses and first-responders who worked so hard to save lives at the Boston Marathon.
CBS News met one doctor who is saving lives â€“ on the streets of Boston, every night of the year.
Itâ€™s just after 8 pm, and Roseanna Means is working the night shift.
â€œI have some socks, you need some socks?â€ she says to a woman sitting on a park bench.
â€œOh sure, thatâ€™d be great,â€ the woman responds.
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Sheâ€™s a doctor. But Means is not getting paid for these rounds â€” sheâ€™s searching for homeless women on the streets of Boston.
It all started 20 years ago when the Harvard-trained doctor at Brigham and Womenâ€™s Hospital began volunteering at health clinics for the homeless.
â€œWhen I see these women, I see this could be me, it could be you, It could it could be any one of us, because thereâ€™s nobody that goes through life without having any problems,â€ Means said. â€œMy own personal life, Iâ€™ve been through cancer, I lost a child, Iâ€™ve been through divorce, I have steel knees â€” Iâ€™ve been through lots of personal things in my life.â€
In 1998 Means founded the non-profit â€œWomen of Means.â€ Her team of 16 volunteer doctors provides free medical care to women at homeless shelters around the city. They average ten thousand visits a year.
â€œItâ€™s not a system, itâ€™s a giving of human kindness to people who just need to be acknowledged and validated and appreciated,â€ she said.
Donna Oâ€™Connell says if she hadnâ€™t met Means, she would probably â€œbe dead.â€
Oâ€™Connell was a homeless drug addict when she first met Means 10 years ago.
â€œWe sat down and started talking, and she gave me courage and hope and she gave me antibiotics and evaluated me and then I opened up and started talking about my life and she just helped me.â€
Now Oâ€™Connell is sober, off the streets and working part-time.
â€œShe saved me, so now when I go to my momâ€™s grave I say, â€˜You know mom, I love you and thank you for giving me another mom. Youâ€™ll always be my mom, but thank you for giving me her.â€
So Meansâ€™ mission continues, searching for ways to help women help themselves.