March in Boston will highlight “Mass and Cass” crisis

Boston Statehouse

FILE – In this Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 file photo an unidentified heroin user, left, is injected by another man, right, on the street near a strip of land sometimes referred to as “Methadone Mile,” in Boston. Fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. were long known as being most common in big cities. That changed 13 years ago, when Appalachia and other rural areas started seeing the nation’s highest overdose death rates. According to a government report released on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, it’s shifted back again. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Organizers of a march to the State House on Wednesday intend to bring attention to the public health crisis, but it’s not the global pandemic.

Frustrated by the lack of progress in addressing issues along “Methadone Mile,” the South End – Roxbury Community Partnership is trying to call attention to an issue that could figure squarely in the ongoing race for mayor of Boston. According to the partnership, it has repeatedly reached out to elected officials in Boston and state officials to demand a public safety plan and address homelessness, substance use disorder, and mental health issues in the area near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.

“These conditions have become increasingly uncomfortable, unmanageable, and unsafe, and yet our elected officials failed to create a comprehensive safety plan along with significant action steps towards its immediate implementation,” the partnership said. “We continue to ask our elected officials to be held accountable for their responsibility to the communities they serve. We have reached out countless times through emails, petitions, town halls, community meetings and numerous protests.”

Other groups behind Wednesday’s “Addiction is NOT the Enemy (People Over Profits) March” to force a more concerted response from the government to the situation at “Mass and Cass” include In Memory of Damien Hughes, The Mass Ave Project, Bridge Kids Give Back, Chris’s Project, Moms on the Mile, the Charlestown Coalition, Rickys Inc, and Little Liberty.

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