Homeless tent encampments at 'Mass. and Cass' to come down Monday
Tent removal teams will fan out across the area around Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard in Boston on Monday.
The city-led operation to clear out encampments near the so-called "Mass. and Cass" intersection begins after officials said they opted not to move people experiencing homelessness and living in tents there this winter, according to a statement from the city. The choice to allow the tents to stay was then "out of concern for the wellbeing of unsheltered individuals," the statement added.
Mayor Michelle Wu's office said people living in the tents will be asked to move voluntarily. They will also be offered alternative housing and substance abuse treatment options.
"The City's daily outreach efforts continue and an enhanced case management team is connecting with every individual in the area and developing individualized service plans," said the statement. "Additionally, a new protocol is in place for people to request support communicating or locating a missing loved one in the area known as Mass and Cass."
The new protocol aims to place people experiencing homelessness in the homes of friends and family willing to house them. Friends and family members can either file a missing person report with the Boston Police Department, or contact the City of Boston Coordinated Response through an online form or over the phone.
Last January, the city conducted a sweep of encampments in the area. The effort then was timed to get people out of the cold; the city rehoused 100 individuals, according to city workers.
While the city said it was taking a public health approach in its sweep, advocates for those struggling with homelessness and addiction said the removal process appeared more like a police sweep.