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The solution for Mass & Cass does not lie with Roxbury residents

Melvin B. Miller

A major problem confronting Boston’s new mayor is how to provide for the homeless. It is identified in the media as the “Mass & Cass” crisis. A large number of people have been camping near that intersection, where there are no housing or plumbing conveniences available. Many have come there from other places because medical services are provided and a market for illicit drugs operates in the area.

There is a belief among liberals that everyone is entitled to housing. But this goal is not readily achieved in a high-priced residential market like Boston. Consequently, there will undoubtedly be no effort to house the indigent in Chestnut Hill or equivalently expensive areas.

Housing was once available on Long Island in Boston Harbor, until the bridge to get there became unserviceable and was destroyed. There was once a plan to relocate people to a closed hospital facility in Roxbury, but vigorous community opposition killed that idea.

Roxbury and Dorchester have provided housing for those in so-called “sober home” facilities for recovering drug addicts, but any effort to locate in Roxbury the homeless drug-afflicted residents of Mass & Cass will certainly generate substantial and incessant objection from Roxbury residents.

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