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Thursday, January 13, 2022

波士頓市長吳弭匯報美沙酮英里帳篷已清拆 流民均安置

波士頓市長吳弭 (Michelle Wu)在松街客棧庭院開記者會,抗議規定打疫苗群眾在牆外
高呼「打疫苗的自由 (Freedom Over Vaccine)」。(周菊子攝)
          (Boston Orange 周菊子綜合報導) 1216日通知,112154名流民獲得安置,「美沙酮英里」行人道上帳篷清空。波士頓市長吳弭 (Michelle Wu) 圓滿完成了就任市長以來的第一項大考驗。

           儘管12日,13日,14日,仍然有3050名流民,一小群一小群的散聚在「百福批發總匯 (Food Pak)」座落的南安普頓街 (Southampton)上,但至少是沒有了帳篷。人們也都知道,波士頓市政府要整頓這吸毒者群聚地區,已經說了不下10年,卻一直都沒能改變的情況,也不太可能一下子就消失無蹤。

           但現在警察增加了在這一地區的巡邏,社工也繼續訪視,情況是比去年悄然冒出上百個帳棚好多了。

          波士頓市長吳弭113日一早,率同資深顧問Monica Bharel博士,波士頓房屋長Sheila Dillon,波士頓公共衛生局主任Bisola Ojikutu博士,波士頓警察局街道外展主警官Peter Messina,來到松街客棧 (Pine Street Inn)的婦女客棧,和該機構執行長Lyndia Downie,以及波士頓市不分區市議員Erin Murphy,第7區市議員Tania Fernandes Anderson一起,舉行了記者會。

          吳弭說,「這是個轉捩點」。她想強調,在市政府各部門的合作、努力下,她們為流民們提供了庇護所,低門檻的臨時住宅,將來爭取永久住宅的途徑,以及協助他們戒毒,醫療的各種資源,期間沒有人被捕,也沒有人被強迫離開。

          吳弭還仔細的報告,這些流民有40人被轉介到了「勝利項目(Victory )」經營的Envision旅館,21人被轉介到波士頓公共衛生局經營,位於南安普頓街112號的1號宿舍,24人被安置到聖法蘭西斯屋所經營的Wood Mullen庇護所,10人被轉介到麻州護理聯盟,以及Eliot社區人民服務所經營的Shattuck小屋社區,31人被轉介到波士頓醫療中心所經營的圓屋旅館(Roundhouse),28人被轉介到松街客棧在Shattuck的庇護所。

          在去年底時,在南安普頓街,以及Atkinson 街和新市場村一帶,有不下70個帳篷,後來增加到將近100個。

          吳弭表示,清拆帳篷的另一原因是冬天來了,天氣太冷,人們露宿街頭的話,既沒有自來水,也沒暖氣,電燈,衛生條件太糟糕,生命安全可慮。波士頓市政府希望在這臨時做法之後,繼續研議中長期的解決辦法,前一陣子她和市府要員巡視長島,已經確認那兒有很大的地方,樓宇設施可用,只是還得解決交通,醫療諮詢等問題。

          在匯報中,Sheila Dillon表示波士頓市政府正在繼續尋覓低門檻房屋,松街客棧執行長表示該機構正在擴展,將在幾個月內破土動工,打造一批新的收容場所,甚至可為流民們提供永久性居屋。

          波士頓警察證實了在過去這星期內,南安普頓街一帶的流民聚居地,共發現了2具屍體,其中1具為男性成人,案件細節因仍在調查,無法透露。由波士頓第一線工作人員組成的「Live Boston 617」,則在他們自行發表的網上刊物稱,死者之一是一名29歲男生。

MAYOR WU SHARES UPDATE ON WORK TO ADDRESS HUMANITARIAN CRISIS CENTERED AT MASS. AVE. AND MELNEA CASS BOULEVARD

Work continues to create medium- and long-term strategies to address crisis
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu gave updates on Mass & Cass. (Photo by Chutze Chou)

BOSTON - Thursday, January 13, 2022 - Today, Mayor Michelle Wu hosted a press conference at the Women's Inn at Pine Street in the South End, alongside President and Executive Director at Pine Street Inn Lyndia Downie; Senior Advisor Dr. Monica Bharel; Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon; Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission Dr. Bisola Ojikutu; and BPD Lieutenant Peter Messina of the Street Outreach Unit to give an update on the actions taken to address the humanitarian crisis centered in the area of Mass Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard. By Thursday morning, 154 individuals were referred to low-threshold shelter or housing options and no arrests were made. Following Wednesday’s efforts to place individuals into emergency housing, Mayor Wu is leading the city in creating medium- and long-term actions to address the crisis.

“This is a turning point towards creating better resources and pathways to meet the needs of individuals living unsheltered. The encampments posed a serious risk to public health and safety. I am grateful to all of our partners, including our BPHC outreach workers, our Public Works team, the Boston Police Department, and all of our state and provider partners,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This is an important step as we continue to work together to create medium- and long-term plans to support those experiencing homelessness, substance use disorder or mental health challenges, centered in the Mass. Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard area.”

The Boston Public Health Commission’s Recovery Services Street Outreach Team engages with individuals on the street on a daily basis. On December 16, the Street Outreach Team notified individuals living in the encampment that no tents would be allowed starting on January 12 and shared that shelter, housing, and treatment resources are available. In addition to the street outreach that the Street Outreach Team leads every day, additional outreach teams (including staff from BPHC’s Homeless Services Bureau, Pine Street Inn, and St. Francis House) increased their street outreach from January 5-January 12. They also accompanied the Inspectional Services Department when notices were posted on January 5 and January 10 to help individuals connect to resources. The outreach teams offered storage bins to all individuals living in the encampment to help with their transition, in partnership with a program run by the Newmarket Business Association.

As of January 12, 154 individuals had been referred to the new low-threshold shelter and housing that the City brought online during the housing surge, in collaboration with State partners. This included 40 individuals referred to the Envision Hotel, run by Victory Programs; 21 people referred to Dorm 1 at 112 Southampton Street Shelter, run by Boston Public Health Commission; 24 people referred to Willows at Woods, run by St. Francis House in the Woods Mullen Shelter; 10 people referred to the Cottage Community at the Shattuck, run by Commonwealth Care Alliance and Eliot Community Human Services; 31 people referred to the Roundhouse Hotel, run by Boston Medical Center; and 28 people referred to Pine Street Inn’s shelter at the Shattuck. Across the sites, individuals are provided with wraparound services including connections to medical, mental health and substance use care, housing search and stabilization services, harm reduction services, and recovery coaching. 

Recently, Mayor Wu visited Long Island with members of her team to evaluate its potential uses to address intermediate and long-term needs for supportive housing and recovery services. The trip was a part of the administration’s ongoing efforts to audit city-owned properties to identify opportunities to expand long-term and permanent supportive housing, substance use treatment, and other recovery services.

 

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