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Janey doesn't quite call the mayor of Revere a liar, but she gets pretty close

Yesterday, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo declared the Boston Public Health Commission a pack of disorganized buffoons trying to foist Boston's Methadone Mile problems on his fair city by sticking some Mass-and-Cass people in a currently unused Quality Inn there - with no prior notice to him.

Today, acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey says Arrigo knew about the plans:

For the last three weeks, staff from the Boston Public Health Commission and Eliot Community Human Services have met with Mayor Arrigo and his team. They have reviewed plans and followed up on requests.

At issue are 30 people who would be housed at Quality Inn.

Janey said the opioid crisis is a regional one, which will take regional solutions, not simply letting every last person with an addiction fall into the maelstrom at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.

As the largest city in New England, we have appropriately built an even larger safety net, assisting those cities and towns who have not made similar commitments to support their residents. We will not back away from this moral obligation, but Boston must have strong partners throughout the Commonwealth to tackle this crisis.

We know that well over 60% of the people we serve come from outside of Boston. To help provide services closer to the places that people call home, we need other cities and towns to step up.

This includes Revere.

She added:

Standing against this proposal means standing against 30 people having a place to call home. It means denying 30 people the health care they deserve at a time they need it most.

Municipal leaders who say that we need to do this work as a region but who fail to take responsibility in their own city or town may be making a good sound bite. But, it does not solve the problem.

We need to stand up together to support our friends, family members and neighbors battling substance use disorder. I want to thank all the cities and towns who have already done so, and I hope Revere is willing to join that list.


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Arrigo's letter absolutely states that Revere had been in discussions with BPHC:

At this point, I do even know how many beds BPHC is contemplating using at the Quality Inn. Over the last three weeks we have been told different numbers by different members of this collaboration. I have heard 156, 30, 60 and 160 but I still have not received anything in writing. Simply put, the level of disorganization from BPHC regarding this effort is appalling

It seems like his beef is that Revere has been told a bunch of different numbers by different people and that they weren't given a heads-up that this announcement was going to be made.

The Channel 5 story even states: "From those at city hall, to those who live near the hotel, frustration boiling over the lack of transparency and communication about this proposed plan. "


These cities outside of Boston should be stepping up cause a majority of the people down on methadone mile are from cities outside of Boston and if the situation was reversed and a bunch of people from Boston were on the streets in cities outside of Boston they would be flipping out to


This is what I've always said: the suburbs need to contribute as well. Not all of the folks on methadone mile are Boston residents. But they end up in Boston, and Boston foots the bill to contend with this human tragedy. It's not being selfish for Boston to say other towns need to help out as well.


There are no homeless shelters or drug treatment facilities in Brookline.


Not the ones you show up at 8pm to get a bed but there are shelters there.

There is also a drug treatment center there as well at 1180 Beacon St.


If you look on the city's own website, they don't list anything that's not in Boston or elsewhere.

They certainly don't think it's their problem to help with, like on a policy level.


There are several family shelters in Brookline and a couple for individuals without children. These are typically community residences that house 2-4 individuals/families, basically like a rooming house, except there is 24/7 staff and some common spaces where people can meet with providers etc. They are part of larger agencies and the addresses of the houses aren't published for safety and privacy. People in the community often don't know they're there, because until you go inside, it just looks like a housemate situation.


Pine Street Inn has a few properties as well in Brookline (I don’t know if that’s public info so I won’t give that out) and Brookline Housing has hundreds of units given to Boston families and residents who don’t find housing in Boston.

One of the issues in Boston is that there is so much space and room (Mass/Cass) for people to congregate where residents won’t call the police for noise complaints. I’m sure this is common in many cities where homeless congregate in industrial areas near commercial areas where residents won’t call on them at night for sleeping or for anything else. Brookline doesn’t have places like that (neither does Brighton or West Roxbury or Charlestown for what that’s worth)


*You* are being lazy by just blindly calling out Brookline. Also, Brookline is a town, not a city, should you ever decide that facts and details matter.

The reality is that there are all kinds of homeless and drug treatment services offered in Brookline, including 1180 Beacon, several Pine Street Inn facilities, the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health, and more.

Is it enough? Fair and important question. But that wasn't your assertion. Your assertion was a lazy, factless claim, one for which you immediately doubled and tripled down on again, without any facts.

Of the town which is 90% white and Asian by red lining policies and exclusionary zoning.

People who opt into Brookline are at best latent racists who very much want their kids to not mingle with black, Latino, or poor people in any combination.

unless you think it's just magical thinking that there are only 3% black residents in a town nearly enclaved by Boston?


Homelessness and drug addiction are a regional problem and they need a regional solution. Many of the homeless/addicted end up in Boston because that's where the greatest concentration of services exists -- and because Boston is the nexus of the regional public transportation network.

That said, regional solutions do require cooperation across multiple governmental entities, and they require good communication. It sounds like BPHC is doing a poor job of communicating with its prospective regional partners.

FWIW I would have never guessed that location is in Revere. I'm not even sure most of the property is in Revere -- just one side of the building. The big apartment complex south of it on Rt 1 is in Malden, and the car wash next door is in Saugus.


Boston does this all the time. They think they can just go into other towns and boss everyone around.


Boss Town?


if the number is "30," he shouldn't have any problem, since that's BY FAR the lowest number he was presented..


That if BPHC were to commit to "30, and no more than 30" he'd be good with that. I suspect BPHC has said something along the lines of 30 for now, but that could go up to 160 depending on how many beds we need.

Can the mayor of Revere tell us how many of his residents are on methadone mile?


…. on Methadone Mile, they aren’t residents of Revere.


But there aren’t many Revere “residents” on Methadone Mile right now…

It is a fact that the Boston Public Health Commission a pack of disorganized buffoons. Don’t know anything about Arrigo or other things mentioned here.


Mayor Arrigo opened a Substance Use Disorder Initiatives office in Revere in 2016. It was a priority shortly after he took office. This is an issue he very much cares about, and which his administration is continuously focused on. He's also been enthusiastic generally about regional partnerships. Just my 2 cents as a Revere resident. If BPHC is known for being disorganized, I'm inclined to think the screw up is on their end.

Well at least this proves that both officials are trying to move the problem out of their cities.


Borders and government are cancers.

In Revere? I was a homecare nurse serving that tragic experiment that house mothers and children. The parking lot was littered w broken glas, and pimps waiting in cars. The units were rotten w mold and kids were sick all the time watching TV in their one room unit eating microwaved food. Can we please actually make a plan rather than dump 30 humans in a similar set up


I remember the whole thing a few years back about these hotels being 'transitional' housing yet people lived there for almost a year or more. Not so much transitional.

And I agree, these setups allow for these people to be possible victims by drug dealers or pimps in these hotels. (Fishing in a barrel comes to mind) People are trying to get their lives back together and there are people waiting outside your room just waiting to knock you back down again.

Yeah this plan needs a little work besides just dumping people in a motel and say "here ya go".


And the solutions they usually come up with to curtail such things just further marginalize the families staying there. I've gone to a few motels-used-as-shelters when I did in-home therapy services where they basically just banned any visitors, including providers (which is of course an ADA violation, but they know people in shelters aren't going to sue them, and a DOJ complaint takes years). One of them would only allow one visitor per week, scheduled in advance with their main office, and this applied to professionals as well. One just pretty much banned visitors. Another had some rule about no visitors "of the opposite gender of the parent" regardless if they were the parent or child's therapist (but same-gender drug dealers and sex workers are cool obv., and I suppose nonbinary parents can have anyone they want visit?)

Interesting comparison with borders but government does not compare with cancer.

Wait a minute, this bears a striking resemblance to the Quincy vs. Boston Deer Island conflict.

Notice how it is always Boston trying to put this issue on others or on their borders with others? Yet when their own residents complain they listen and do not do anything.

Regional approach is Boston speak for everyone else should do everything. Just look at all the infrastructure all their neighbors hold for them that they do not have to worry about yet they get all the taxes from the big buildings. Not all the employees of those buildings live in Boston. So go ahead push that problem to Revere but send them the check for the tax bill for the Pru.

Acting mayors who reside in glass city halls . . .

Janey has a point that this is a regional effort.

Arrigo has a point that the city wasn't consulted much about this.

However, Revere City Council IMHO has become so NIMBY. So I am unsure how much of this is a valid reason or just NIMBY.

However, I agree with the visiting nurse below. Dumping people in a hotel isn't an answer to solve their problems. In fact, in some ways, it may make the situation worse.

I'd also like to point out, its barely on a bus line so its not even T accessible (it's a walk to a bus). So we're going to move people who don't have cars or much else to a location that is pretty hard to get in and out of. Same people who we want to get jobs and treatment. Can't do that when that bus runs every 2 hours & last bus is at 945pm.


the Hilton Garden Inn in Brookline.


Parks, great access to the MBTA, and right down the road to all of the medical facilities in the Longwood Ave area.

Why only share with lower income communities?

What could be the problem?


Ah, the Quincy effect.


Quincy has a homeless shelter, rehabs etc.

So a motel is getting a small group of paying customers. Why is this an issue, and why are we saying the city should have been consulted?

Interestingly, I can actually draw a one-variable parallel here. A few years ago, a group of right around 30 of us from different places in the state went to another community in Boston and stayed at a hotel, all paid for by the Boston Public Health Commission actually, to do a work thing for a few days. Where's the outrage that this wasn't discussed with the leadership of that community? What's the difference here? Oh, is it that our group didn't have psychiatric diagnoses? Hm, actually, that's not even true, since several of the positions represented were ones that prioritize lived experience, so a lot of the folks present were out at work as being people in recovery from substance use or psychiatric disabilities. Hmmm the only difference I see here is that we were all steadily employed at the time.

But homeless people with substance abuse problems are much, much more likely to need expensive city services than your average hotel guest -- and even more than a person who has reached the stage of their recovery whereby they're able to hold down a professional job. So no doubt money is a factor.

And this hotel directly abuts a neighborhood of single-family homes, and I don't doubt the neighbors are squawking. If you think the parking lot is going to be filled with pimps and drug dealers you're gonna complain.

In the case of your group, you were staying for a few days. These folks aren't going to be staying at that hotel for just a few days.

People can make inferences and complain all they want, but there's no requirement that anyone have permission or hold meetings to book nights in a hotel for people. It's a private business transaction, even if a municipality is paying.

They'll enjoy an indoor pool, easy access to the liquor store and zero public transit other than the shuttle to the airport.

The brilliance of Marty Martinez continues to shine through


And the Shell station for convenience store needs

It's about as far away from *anything* else in Revere as it's possible to get. Everything surrounding it is part of Malden or Saugus. If you live on Broadway, or on Shirley Avenue, or by Suffolk Downs, or Beachmont, the effect on you is going to be zero.