December 8, 2023

Native Information

A plan authorised final week seeks to clear encampments and relocate individuals residing in them to shelters.

Work was underway Tuesday to clear the tents on Atkinson Avenue. Tony Rivera (proper) from the Newmarket Enterprise Enchancment District cleans up the road the place tents as soon as stood. John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

Following Boston Metropolis Council’s approval of Mayor Michelle Wu’s plan to clear tents round Mass. and Cass and elsewhere, metropolis employees are actually reportedly imposing that ordinance. 

Since Monday morning, groups of cops, metropolis workers, and outreach employees have been working to take away encampments and get the individuals residing there to appropriate shelters, GBH reported. Round 90 persons are residing in about 75 tents at Mass. and Cass, the middle of the town’s homelessness, psychological well being, and substance use crises. 

After the Metropolis Council vote, Wu mentioned that the enforcement wouldn’t be catching anybody residing within the encampments off guard. Fliers in 11 languages had been distributed, and metropolis employees have been speaking with the individuals set to be displaced for weeks in preparation for the plan’s approval. Officers mentioned that they might work with individuals residing there from Monday by way of Wednesday to get them to shelter, earlier than enforcement of the ordinance begins Wednesday. 

However one girl residing there mentioned she returned from a fast journey to McDonald’s to seek out that her belongings had been moved. Danielle, a 39-year-old girl who didn’t give her final identify to GBH, informed the outlet that she was confused as a result of the town had informed her that Wednesday was the deadline to filter. Metropolis employees informed her Monday that her tent was possible seen as deserted, and he or she was given details about a shelter with room for many who can not reside on the road. 

“No person cares the place we go,” she informed GBH. “They’re simply throwing us out, that’s it.”

The plan, launched by Wu in August, offers police the ability to clear tents and tarp buildings extra shortly whereas setting apart shelter beds for the individuals being displaced. 

Wu, Police Commissioner Michael Cox, and different officers mentioned that the plan was a response to a surge in public security issues at Mass. and Cass that started over the summer season. Tents conceal drug and human trafficking, amongst different felony actions, from watchful eyes, officers mentioned. Clearing them is not going to solely lower crime, they mentioned, however will give the individuals who had been residing in them a safer place to reside as temperatures drop. 

Officers mentioned a serious objective of the plan is to revive Atkinson Avenue to being a purposeful roadway, however the ordinance applies citywide. Groups of metropolis employees and cops are being tasked with stopping new encampments from popping up all through Boston.

At a Boston Public Well being Fee facility positioned at 727 Massachusetts Ave., 30 “short-term transitional beds” have been arrange for individuals being moved from their tents. These are reserved just for a predetermined group of individuals working with the BPHC and will not be meant to be a long-term shelter. Simply over 100 beds are being reserved at shelters all through the town to accommodate these being moved. 

Greater than 100 individuals commonly collect at Mass. and Cass, however most come to the realm to have interaction in felony exercise and have housing choices elsewhere, Wu has mentioned.