BOSTON, MA – Boston Police Officers across multiple districts will now be enforcing the new ordinance passed by the Boston City Council last week. This ordinance looks to dismantle the massive homeless encampment in the infamous “Mass and Cass.” This swift reaction from the City comes after a toddler was found in the encampment area roughly two weeks ago. This caused immediate outrage from politicians and members of the community who stumbled upon pictures or caught wind of the incident.
The ordinance, specifically targeting the homeless encampment also extends its scope to target those that go to the area to commit crime. As a result of this, there will be a heightened patrol conducted by Boston Police in order to take down tents and deter any crime from occurring in the area.
A memo put out to Boston Police details the following regarding the enforcement. Enforcements are expected to begin at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 1st, 2023. Five police officers, which include four officers and one patrol supervisor will be rigorously patrolling the area. The famed road of Atkins Street will see the deployments of officers at 8:00 a.m., 4:30 p.m., and 12:15 a.m. until November 30 when this enforcement is slated to end.
Today, many of the tents that sat on Atkins Street were being taken down as the cleaning efforts were coming in full swing. Many Boston Police officers were present alongside the Suffolk County Sheriffs Deputies, who provided security for all those who were taking part in the cleanup. There were also many volunteers there handing out care packages that contained items that were meant to sustain the person for a little while they made the transition over. Furthermore, there were chaplains providing religious services to those in need as well.
Roughly two hours after the initial clean-up process began, the overwhelming majority of the tents that once stood and housed the people of Mass and Cass were gone. The overall atmosphere of the clean-up provided an environment in which the residents of Atkins Street were able to smoothly transition out of the area without much distress.
Mayor Michelle Wu, in a press release she held today said that many of those living at the encampment have accepted to take alternatives areas to live. Additionally reporting on the fact that they were also able to remove roughly 49 tons of materials that had been scattered across these encampment sites. She also added the fact that the City of Boston has been doing significantly better relative to other major cities around the United States.
The director of the coordinated response team has stated that 52 people have completed their physical movement to shelters, family reunification, and a variety of destinations. 25 more have accepted the offer by the city and are currently in the process of physically moving. The City is currently covering all storage and transportation for all these community members in need. 9 are now with friends, family, and housing reunifications. 7 will be provided placement today. The City of Boston counted roughly 50 to 55 structures (tents) as of Monday, but as of today only 14 stands.
“Today will be, hopefully, the Next step we’re taking, a big one for the city” Mayor Wu said. Shining light onto the new efforts that the City has been putting forth to combat the homeless issue.
Photo Credits: Hiroki Heginbotham