Tents return to Mass and Cass
By adamg on Wed, 08/24/2022 - 3:05pm
Live Boston went for a drive down Mass. Ave. last night. WBUR goes for a walk through Mass and Cass.
Dear @MayorWu, @BOSCityCouncil, and @HealthyBoston
I thought we agreed this wasn’t okay or acceptable. It would be great if you fixed this for more than 30 seconds for a quick photo op… at least try and pretend to care.
cc: @universalhub @seroxbury @Doogs617 @bostonpolice pic.twitter.com/UCF6AoPeVb
— Live Boston (@LiveBoston617) August 24, 2022
Mass and Cass cleared of tents tonight, but people still congregating there.
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Something I doubted I'd ever
Something I doubted I'd ever say: LiveBoston617 is 100% right.
We can't allow this. Boston has available shelter beds. Tents on city sidewalks & public property should NEVER be allowed. We learned last fall that women were trafficked inside these tents. That alone should be enough reason to take a dump truck down there today and remove all of them.
I hate to say it, but as long as the region has available shelter beds, Boston needs to take a firmer stand on this issue. You can't make someone use a shelter, but you can't allow them to pop a tent on public property.
We knew they would be back
We knew.. or at least I knew they would be back.
Get some into treatment, and then there's more people waiting to take their place down at Mass & Cass.
*lips starting to crack and bleed from saying this again and again..*
This is a regional issue, until it is handled as a regional issue, there will always.. A L W A Y S be a flood of people at Mass & Cass.
Live Bootlickers wants these people out of sight, out of mind, and if they’re not, then Live Bootlickers are here to own the mayor online. Another Operation Clean Sweep would be a-OK, roll through and throw these people away without addressing any of the underlying causes.
But ARE there actually shelter beds?
I have friends who are homeless care workers and who will tell anyone who listens that there aren’t enough shelter beds. Period.
The vast majority of shelters require clients be sober at the very least, which while almost certainly exempt many at the encampment.
We need to seriously rethink our approach to the opioid epidemic and look at successful models of supervised use sites and behavior-based shelters that don’t require clients be sober to receive services.
Pine Street Inn
The Pine Street Inn is the largest emergency shelter in the region. From their website:
"There is no sobriety requirement (except at Holy Family Shelter), though alcohol, drugs and drug paraphernalia are not permitted on the premises."
I believe this applies to all of their shelters, except the Holy Family Shelter as indicated.
I noticed it yesterday morning
A few actual tents were back on the sidewalk near the car wash place. There's been makeshift shelters for a while, like big umbrellas, tarps and pop-up canopies.
On one hand, the decision was made for no more tents and that has fallen, so criticism is valid for that. On the other hand, it was months between when the tents were all cleared out and when I saw a new one pop up down there, so claiming it was so temporary that it was for a quick photo op is absurd hyperbole.
I read a comment where someone said they knew they would be back. "They" never left. I go through there regularly. The tents, umbrellas, tarps, etc. have been there all summer.
Mayor Wu inherited this and promised to remedy it. She's failing. To use a quote, she uses: "It's unacceptable."
That's correct, as someone
That's correct, as someone who passes by that section of Southampton St regularly, I don't believe that all these folks cleared the area entirely, a good number of them just got relocated a block away.
The numbers have swollen again in recent months and the only thing I noticed from the outside is that they had stopped using shelters that most people would recognize as a "tent" (something held by tent poles) and spend the days and nights under umbrellas and blue tarps. Not that much difference otherwise.
Our healthcare system is a disgrace, especially mental health and addiction treatment. My brother just spent 2 months being chemically and physically restrained at Emerson hospital as part of what was supposed to be treatment for schizo disorder before they finally got him transferred to an appropriate facility in Worcester.
I grew up in Foxboro that shut their state hospital down when I was growing up, pre year 2000 and from that point on there hasn't been appropriate investment in the mental health system or addiction treatment.
So surprise , surprise people with no where to go are on the rise and this area might be the prime example of it in the state.
Best of luck to mayor Wu but this is a much bigger problem that needs a huge investment to address. I see this issue as one that could really impact our ability to function as a society, but maybe someone will step forward with a solution and hopefully prove me wrong.
I was trying to think of all the places that had mental health hospitals that are now closed, abandoned, or destroyed. You see these places and wonder, though I'm not sure they had a stellar history.....
Taunton is open.....
But probably only uses 20% of the facilities that they could be using. Westboro too. Both places once housed hundreds of patients (maybe more). Now they both house double digit numbers if that (Taunton anyway). Most have day programs and other administrative functions now.
My brother, who during the
My brother, who during the pandemic, developed "passed out on the sidewalk" alcoholism and went to detox in Westboro.
Milton Medfield Wrentham
closed state mental health facilities
Danvers, Boston, Westborough, Gardner, Northampton, Grafton, Medfield, Metropolitan, Norfolk (before it became Pondville hospital), and Worcester (though it was replaced by Worcester Recovery Center).
Also Brockton Multi-Service Center and Massachusetts, Quincy, and Lindemann Mental Health Centers no longer have beds but are still patient-serving. Solomon Mental Health Center has completely closed.
Foxborough state was specifically for alcohol use.
On a related note, as someone has has spent time as a patient in two different state facilities and a handful of private facilities, and also works in the mental health field, I can say definitively that inpatient is the answer only if you want to hide people away and don't really care about the quality of their treatment or if they are getting well.
Forcing people to get substance use related treatment in correctional facilities is also not the answer.
Good outpatient care - along with housing, access to healthy food, a good social network, and meaningful ways to fill one's day - is what gets people well.
This looks a lot like what I saw on Friday, June 17
which was the last time I biked down that part of Southampton Street (returning home from a performance at the Strand Theatre).