The metropolis plans to start utilizing a former Mass and Cass dependancy outreach heart as an in a single day shelter for homeless individuals, together with newly arrived migrants, who’ve been sleeping on the ground on the Southampton Street males’s shelter.
Mayor Michelle Wu confirmed the momentary use of the Atkinson Street constructing, the place 30 individuals will probably be allowed to stay every night time from roughly 8 p.m. to five a.m. the next morning, beginning tonight and lengthening by means of at the very least March 15, with an extension by means of mid-April relying on the climate.
The overflow shelter, the second since tents got here down Nov. 1 as a part of the mayor’s plan to sort out homelessness and clear up the realm’s open-air drug market, is geared toward offering some aid for a metropolis shelter system strained by the arrival of migrant people not captured by state household shelter necessities, Wu stated.
“As more new families are arriving with the migrant crisis to cities everywhere, much of the attention has been on families with children who are part of the state’s shelter system,” Wu stated Monday at an unrelated City Hall press convention.
“However, there are a large number of individuals arriving as well who are not connected to a family unit and who are therefore not eligible for that shelter system,” Wu stated, including that the town’s shelter system “is designed to support individual adults who are not part of family shelters.”
In “recent weeks and months,” Wu stated, the town has been seeing that roughly 25% of its grownup shelter beds, together with these run by the Boston Public Health Commission like the brand new one on Atkinson Street and others run by nonprofit companions just like the Pine Street Inn, “have been newly arrived migrant individuals.”
Given that there are between 800 to 900 beds within the metropolis shelter system, that quantities to roughly 200 occupied by migrant adults, the mayor stated.
“Overall, it has been putting some pressure on the capacity of our system,” Wu stated. “So we need to open an overflow space.”
The new improvement comes because the state is contemplating a Seaport workplace constructing as an overflow shelter for migrant households. The Roxbury Cass Center shelter, opened Jan. 31 for households, is nearing its 400-person capability.
The Atkinson Street engagement heart, which lengthy served as an area for inhabitants of Mass and Cass to obtain providers that included drug kits, will function that overflow area for a month for individuals “to get through the cold,” Wu stated.
Programming on the constructing was shut down as a part of the mayor’s plan to return Atkinson to a commonly vehicular-trafficked road, however continues to function as a daytime area for metropolis conferences and outreach crew coordination. That use is not going to be disrupted by the in a single day shelter, in accordance with an electronic mail obtained by the Herald.
The “temporary” shelter at Atkinson will probably be geared toward homeless individuals occupying the Mass and Cass space and newly-arrived migrants who’ve been sleeping on cots and generally mats at metropolis shelters that “have been operating at expanded capacity already for a number of weeks,” Wu stated.
She did say, nonetheless, that regardless of that pressure, metropolis shelters haven’t been turning anybody away, and that if persons are sleeping exterior, outreach groups have been attempting to “encourage everyone to come indoors to the shelter every single night.”
The overflow shelter set to open in that constructing, which will probably be operational seven nights every week and geared towards capturing the overflow from 112 Southampton, is the second to be opened by the Wu administration for the reason that metropolis started imposing the mayor’s anti-encampment ordinance this previous fall.
The first, at one other Boston Public Health Commission constructing on Massachusetts Avenue, contains 30 beds and have become operational with the caveat that it could even be a short-term shelter choice till these people had been completely housed.
Homeless people will probably be escorted from 112 Southampton to the engagement heart every night time, and will probably be walked again the next morning, Wu stated, which is “not supposed to add more foot traffic or activity on Atkinson,” the place a lot of the crime and drug use has traditionally taken place at Mass and Cass.
It’s “just to relieve the shelters overnight,” Wu stated, noting that whereas the town has executed higher as of late with getting chronically homeless individuals into low-threshold and different housing choices,” the migrant disaster has impacted shelter turnover.
“The hope is that it’s quick turnover, but with the newly-arrived migrants and individuals, it’s been a little bit longer,” the mayor stated.
This is a growing story …