Problems Return at Clifford Park After Eight Months, Boston.

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  • Problems Return at Clifford Park After Eight Months, Boston.

Open wastes of needles, drugs, public sex, and violence in Clifford Park near Mass and Cass has once again created a problem for the officials of Boston. Public places are no longer considered suitable for use by the general public as they are dirty and dangerous.

The local sports teams can no longer practice in peace. Domingos DaRosa says that the practice of teams starts with picking up needles from the ground. They find all kinds of things in the park. 

Youth activist says, "We are tired of the daily battle of cleaning Clifford Park."

The crisis isn’t new for the Mass and Cass locals. The authorities have managed to clean tents from the area in January, but the people have returned as the weather grows less warm. Around 200 people can be seen daily camping at Clifford, indulging in various activities. The violence rate in the area has risen by 6 percent more than it was during the last time of the crisis.

"I am not happy," Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said. "In any case, we’re in a different place than last year, when, at this moment, there are already hundreds of fortified encampments, and so there are 19 different cleanings happening every single week, and resources are being provided, streamlining the services, but we still have a lot more work to do."

The city is working on improving its faculties related to housing, shelters, and health care organizations.

The Engagement Center, where people could drop in during the day to use restrooms or be connected with services, has been affected by the violent incidents in the area. Now, the hours are restricted, and capacity is capped at 35 people; there’s also a metal detector at the front door and lockers outside for people to store belongings. Before that, the center was open longer each day and would allow up to 120 people inside. 

Boston City Councilor Erin Murphy said. "We have empty beds in detox, we have beds at night in homeless shelters, but a lot of those down at Mass. and Cass are not choosing that option at this time, so how do we encourage them, and get them to a place where they are ready to start this road to recovery? Or else I believe we are just going to continue to see the crowds grow."

City Councilor Frank Baker, who represents the area, said he and City Councilor Erin Murphy are planning a hearing on the Mass and Cass issue, with a focus on getting people with issues on the street involuntarily committed under the state’s Section 35 law. He said he wants the satellite courthouse that was briefly open at the nearby jail to re-open and process people quickly and get them into diversion programs.

"It’s unacceptable that we let the addicts in there take over," Baker said. "Parks are for positive things to happen."

It seems the authorities are alert, and steps are continuously being taken, but locals and activists facing the issue every year are a little less than assured. According to them, the problem will only worsen, and the steps taken now won’t be sufficient for the coming months.

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