Michelle Wu Says Many Methadone Mile People Aren’t Homeless

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/08/28/michelle-wu-says-many-methadone-mile-people-arent-homeless/

By Chris Lisinski
State House News Service

Only a small fraction of the crowds that assemble in the “Mass. and Cass” area each day are experiencing homelessness, a dynamic that has changed in recent years, according to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.

In an appearance on WCVB’s On the Record that aired Sunday, August 27, Wu said it can be “hard to understand” how the hub of encampments and drug use near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard has changed in recent years.

“On average, there’s about 200 to 230 people there during the day. A very, very much smaller number of those folks actually are in need of housing,” Wu said. “Most everyone else has housing already, and there has been growing drug dealing and violent activity happening because we have built up the housing and services to serve people and get them into the right spots and move along the pathway to recovery.”

“Now, it’s time to make sure that all of our workforce is safe and that we’re bringing it all together before it gets too cold and people are out on the street in winter,” she added.

Wu last week outlined a vision to overhaul the city’s approach to the nexus of homelessness, addiction, and drug use at Mass. and Cass by allowing police to remove tents and tarps, linking those who would be displaced to services, and installing a more sustained “operations post” in the area.

She plans to seek a new city ordinance to give law enforcement that legal authority, which will need to win approval from the Boston City Council.

Asked by On the Record host Ed Harding if that process could take up to two months, Wu replied, “That’s correct.”


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