Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Finding a Safe Space For the Day

It's right in front of you:

"Day shelter to target problems on ‘Methadone Mile’" by David Abel Globe Staff  June 19, 2017

In the light of day, in full view of passing traffic, men urinate on the sidewalk. Women shoot heroin, and leave their needles and other trash behind. Others pass their days panhandling up and down the streets, then rest for the night on patches of grass.

The illicit activity and constant loitering at the crossroads of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard in Boston, a growing problem in the three years since the city moved many of its social services from Long Island to this gritty area, has reached a breaking point, officials said.

Under pressure from frustrated residents, workers, and business owners in the area to address the problem, city officials are planning to build a new kind of shelter, providing the homeless, drug addicts, and others who congregate in the neighborhood a place to get off the streets.

“We have a problem, and so we’re trying something new,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in an interview.

Over the next month, city officials plan to transform the paved backyard of the Southampton Street Shelter, one of the new social service institutions born out of the closure of Long Island, into an “engagement space,” a kind of way station that would help steer the homeless into treatment while improving the area’s quality of life. 

That's trying something new?

The city plans to spend as much as $1 million a year to furnish a barracks-like tent with air conditioning, televisions, and comfortable places to sit. Free coffee and snacks will be served throughout the day. Outside, there will be picnic tables and benches, planters with flowers, and, ultimately, a lawn.

Wow, I'm glad the city is in such great shape with no budget problems.

Rules will be limited, allowing the inebriated to remain, and few will be barred. Outreach workers will mingle in hopes of persuading people to enter city programs that could help them find homes or overcome their addictions.

“This is about getting people off the streets, and creating a safe space,” Walsh said. “We want to make it a warm, welcoming place.”

The shelter, slated to open in late July, is the latest in a series of steps that city officials have taken to address the vagrancy and drug dealing in the area known as Methadone Mile that includes about a dozen drug-treatment programs, shelters, and other service providers. They have extended the hours of police bike patrols in the area, added outreach workers, and collaborated with Boston University to help keep the area clean.

And yet the authorities are so worried about weed, weed, weed!

City officials have been working with residents for months on the plan.

“It’s about time this happened,” said Janet Palumbo, manager of the New Market Pizza & Grill, which faces the intersection. “These people are all over the place, and it’s scary to walk the streets in the area.”

In Bo$ton?

“They need a place to go, and we need a nice place to work,” she added.

But some neighbors doubt the plan will work, and they urge the city to do more.

Sahar Zaheer, 35, who lives nearby on East Springfield Street, has seen people assaulted in broad daylight. She regularly sees people unconscious on the sidewalks and finds herself thinking “I can’t believe this is America!”

“I don’t think the mayor’s plan will work,” she said. “These are human beings we’re talking about. You can’t just herd them like cattle.”

Don't tell the power elite control freaks that.

George Stergios, president of the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association, frequently sees people shooting up. He worries the city’s plan will backfire.

“My fear is that if you create a new facility, you’ll get more people coming to the neighborhood,” he said. “I would love to see these people taken care of, but I worry this will create a giant sucking sound, and more people will migrate here from other shelters.”

City Councilor Frank Baker, who represents the neighborhood, was more hopeful.

“There are people who use the whole neighborhood as a bathroom,” he said. “I hope, at least, it helps with that issue. Ultimately, I think this could be something good.”

Loitering has always been an issue in the area, but the problems in the neighborhood took a significant turn for the worse in 2015, when city officials spent $10 million to renovate a transportation building into the city’s newest homeless shelter on Southampton Street. Other services, including clinics to treat heroin addicts, opened nearby.

A year earlier, the city had condemned an old bridge leading to Long Island, closing a host of shelters and treatment facilities there.

Nine months after the Southampton Street Shelter opened, police found that violent crime in the area had risen 30 percent, drug violations had jumped 55 percent, and aggravated assaults were up 47 percent. Citywide, such crimes declined over the same period.

Oh, I love seeing that considering they are putting a rehab center two streets over!

Sorry, and while I have compassion for the victims, it would help if it were not the CIA smuggling the stuff over here and using the profits to bolster the bottom lines of banks. The death toll serves a purpose, too. Slow genocide getting rid of undesirables.

Walsh said he recognizes that the new shelter may not be a panacea. He acknowledged that there’s no way for the city to force people to leave the streets and spend their days in the new space.

But he said the day shelter could make a dent in a persistent problem. “This might not work,” he said. “But we’re hoping it works.”


How many millions in city money did GE get?


The counselor will be around to $ee you:

"Mayor wants 4 more clinicians to help keep mentally ill out of jail" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  June 19, 2017

Four additional mental health clinicians would work with Boston police under a new version of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s budget, tripling the size of a unit geared toward diverting emotionally disturbed people from jail and toward treatment or job training.

It's all $ocial work, and it allows an undeniable level of tyranny. Here to help, even if you don't want it -- and isn't that what America was?

In the fiscal year 2018 budget resubmission he plans to file Monday, Walsh will call for $234,228 to fund the four new positions, city officials said.

The team’s mission involves working with police officers who report people with signs of mental illness. The clinicians then work to connect those people with mental health resources. With two clinicians working between August 2011 and the end of 2016, more than 500 people were linked with mental health assistance rather than arrested, Walsh aides said.

Maybe it is a good thing; this way they won't just shoot the guy.

“A lot of times when cops confront people there’s mental health or substance abuse issues, and this can help defuse the situation,” Walsh said Friday.

“What this will do is hopefully get some of these people who are perceived criminals but actually need help with other things and get them the help they need and into other things. It’s money well spent,” he said....

We $hall $ee about that, but what's with the preconceived perception?


Where can I go to shoot up?

"Officials balk at supervised drug injection facility" by Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  June 20, 2017

City councilors expressed concern Monday about a supervised injection facility for drug users — an idea floated by a state lawmaker that has so far been panned by local officials.

City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George, who called for Monday’s hearing, said Boston has become the “front lines” in the state’s response to an opioid epidemic that kills six people a day in Massachusetts.

That's a war.

“This conversation should not be happening without the city at the table,” she said.

Proponents describe the facilities, known as SIFs, as a place to provide drug addicts with a medically safe environment — an effort to stem an alarming rise in opioid-overdose deaths.

The concept has been backed by the Massachusetts Medical Society, which pointed to the success of similar facilities in Canada and Australia in reducing overdose deaths and communicable diseases such as HIV. No such facility has been opened in the United States.

Didn't the MMS come out against pot? 

So you can shoot up, but God help you if you light up with the stink weed.

How does it feel to have South Carolina more open-minded than you, Ma$$achu$etts?

Opponents have decried the facilities as condoning drug use without an equal effort to address the root causes of addiction, while continuing to let the scourge of the opioid epidemic settle in Boston.

They can't addre$$ the root cau$e. That is why we get $olutions like this and the whole must offer compassion for the degenerate dope fiends spew.

Until they address where it comes from and how it gets here, the problem will just fester like the other wars and the casualties will keep coming.

“It is the enabling of this behavior . . . that has no possible good outcome,” said Brianne Fitzgerald, a nurse practitioner for four decades who has worked with addicts, at the hearing.

Well, I kind of felt that way but was afraid to say it. Not politically-correct to blame this certain cla$$ of victims. It's just siphon more tax loot away to who knows what vein.

Both Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh have expressed concern over the idea of a supervised injection site....

Why not legalize the sh**? 

This whole series of articles is a tacit admission that it already is. Then the pharmaceuticals can legally get into the bu$ine$$ and it will be such fun!


Btw, it won't save you from the carfentanil.