Mayor Michelle Wu downplayed statements from Boston Medical Center’s high government, saying that there hasn’t been a spike within the variety of individuals loitering exterior and sheltering within the emergency division since tents had been eliminated at Mass and Cass.
Wu did say, nevertheless, that the town has been focusing on “hotspots,” notably on the Boston Public Library in Copley Square and the Massachusetts Avenue MBTA station, because the metropolis’s encampment ordinance went into impact on Nov. 1.
Her administration spoke commonly with Boston Medical Center representatives within the weeks main as much as enforcement, Wu mentioned, and checked in once more on Thursday — after a hospital chief said that safety needed to be elevated to cope with the Mass and Cass spillover on BMC’s Massachusetts Avenue campus.
“What I’m hearing is that it’s not any different than the situation has been in the past,” Wu advised reporters Thursday. “There’s not been a spike or a change in that situation.”
A BMC spokesperson didn’t reply to a Friday request for remark.
Dr. Alastair Bell, president and CEO of the BMC Health System, mentioned at a Wednesday Board of Health assembly that the variety of individuals loitering on the campus and sheltering within the emergency division had spiked because the tent ban went into impact.
At about 6 a.m. Wednesday, for instance, he mentioned there have been about 25 individuals within the ED ready room. The individuals weren’t there for scientific causes, and had been “just sheltering,” Bell mentioned.
The “marked increase in loitering and homeless people sheltering at various points,” together with parking garages, sidewalks and outdoors the emergency division, has put a pressure on scientific providers and led to a rise in safety on the campus, Bell mentioned.
Wu spoke to the challenges of making an attempt to offer various shelter, a part of the town’s new encampment ban, for homeless people who’re distrustful of the shelter system and would slightly stay exterior within the colder months.
“We’ve really been working person by person by person to understand the challenges,” Wu mentioned. “We’re not going to write anyone off, to think that they don’t want to go inside. It’s just about, how do we find the appropriate placement that works for them?”
The mayor mentioned the town has had some success with focusing on different hotspots, at Boston Public Library in Copley Square and the Mass Avenue MBTA station alongside Southwest Corridor Park, the place individuals had been discovered to be gathering after encampments had been cleared within the Mass and Cass zone.
Her administration is working with state officers, the Boston Police Department, and the town’s Public Health Commission, to “prevent any gatherings or potentially encampments from occurring” and decide when to offer outreach providers, Wu mentioned.
A Herald photographer noticed dozens of individuals gathered on Melnea Cass Boulevard at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The group had cleared by the point the photographer returned about an hour later.
A Boston Police spokesman mentioned the individuals might have walked away, however didn’t reply additional about whether or not officers had been wanted to clear the group.