Officials to clear homeless camp, epicenter of opioid crisis

Massachusetts
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BOSTON (AP) — Officials in Boston are beginning to clear a sprawling homeless camp at the epicenter of the city’s opioid crisis.

Notices posted on Sunday near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, an area commonly known as Mass and Cass, say officials will start a “general cleanup of this public space” starting at 7 a.m. Monday.

Last week, Acting Mayor Kim Janey declared addiction and homelessness a public health emergency and said the roughly 150 tents that have been set up in the area, mostly along Theodore Glynn Way, will be removed.

The order also says police will continue to enforce all laws related to drug trafficking, human trafficking, disorderly conduct and trespassing.

“Tents are not appropriate for housing, they lack clean water and adequate facilities,” Janey said at the time. “We cannot let our most vulnerable residents continue to suffer in these encampments.”

City officials said those dependent on opioids will be connected with treatment and permanent shelter options. They stressed that the city is not criminalizing homelessness, and no one will be forcibly removed.

The area, home to numerous methadone clinics and social services, has long been a haven for crime and illegal drug sales and use, often in the open.

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