Janey bans tents, links their removal with increased efforts to ensure occupants are cared for and accommodated
Acting Mayor Kim Janey today announced an executive order that seeks to move people who are currently creating tent cities in Mass and Cass and elsewhere in Boston to treatment and housing.
“To be clear, tents are not suitable for accommodation,” because they lack basic services and lead to infectious diseases, violence and human trafficking, Janey told town hall .
Tents and temporary shelters “should no longer be allowed in the city of Boston,” she said, adding that the Boston Public Health Commission had declared an official “crisis” in the city because of the problem. She said street workers and first responders are already using Narcan to revive four to five people a day on the streets.
“The work has already started,” she said, stressing that public health and care for the rights of the individuals involved will drive the work.
Janey said that from now on, social workers in the city will try to get people out of tents and into programs. People who refuse to go will only be moved as a last resort, she said, adding that the city will work with the Suffolk County Attorney’s Office and the judiciary to ensure that such pledges are associated to programs aimed at involving people in treatment.
“Our capacity in our shelters is not at the maximum,” so there is room to bring more people inside even as the city strives to improve access to treatment, the said. chief of health and social services of the city, Marty Martinez. He reminded Janey that tents just aren’t a place people can stay to try and get help with drug addiction and other issues.
Janey pointed out that she would work with the state as well, as drug addiction is a regional problem and many people from Mass and Cass come to Boston from other parts of the state and New England.