Because, sure, who hasn't had an urgent need to cash a check at 3:30 a.m.?
Steve Fox at the South End Forum is sounding the alarm over a proposal by PLS Check Cashing at Mass. Ave. and Tremont Street to extend its current closing time from midnight to never, which would make it Boston's first non-stop check-cashing place:
Some of the concerns that neighbors have expressed include 1) as the only 24 hour facility, this location would become a citywide magnet all night long and bring to the South End the potential problems with impaired drivers and/or suspect transactions, 2) there are public safety concerns given the kinds of "business" transactions that tend to occur between midnight and 7 AM, 3) because this is a business that deals exclusively with currency, the risks of theft, armed robbery, and plain vanilla rip-offs would become concentrated in this location.
Finally, and most importantly, this location is included in the "Methadone Mile" section of the South End, an area that is the epicenter of drug transactions and addictive behaviors. As the South End community attempts to work with public and private partners in a Task Force specifically focused on the problems associated with this geography, a 24 hour check cashing service would not be the kind of service that would act to ameliorate the increasing problems we are seeing in this part of the South End. Even for those who would not be directly using the check cashing service, a facility open 24 hours/day, 7 days a week, would draw people to that corner and present opportunities for problems that might otherwise not occur if the facility was closed.
If you live in the South End and have feelings on this, send them to the mayor's neighborhood liaison, Sam Chambers, at [email protected].