Summer is a busy season for the city of Boston. WGBH News Morning Edition Host Joe Mathieu sat down with Mayor Marty Walsh at Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe to talk about the challenges the city faces, including creating job opportunities, and reducing violence and homelessness. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

Joe Mathieu: This is a neat old place. Do you come here a lot?

Mayor Marty Walsh: It is. I come in a lot of times just to have breakfast here on the weekends, if we're driving around and we're looking for a place to go. I mean, there's a lot of great breakfast places in Boston — and great lunch places, too. But I just like coming here. It's old school, and you think about the old days. It's always been a place I think that people kind of come and just catch up.

Mathieu: Well, we're meeting here at the threshold of the summer. And it's an important season for our city — it's an important and very busy season for you. And I'd like to start with the idea of security in the city because you've been talking a lot about that recently. It's an annual conversation we have about finding summer jobs [and] keeping kids busy.

Walsh: Yeah, it's something that we have to work out every year. And right now in Boston overall crime is down by 9 percent. Violent crime is down 12 percent. We're creeping towards 11,000 jobs for kids. We work, obviously, with older adults as well, trying to create opportunities for them, to keep them busy. We have a re-entry program in the city of Boston ... that's getting people coming out of prison and working to make sure that they don't re-offend. Working very closely with Sheriff Steve Tompkins in his office and Rachel Rollins in her office in building relations up there so we can continue to bring down the crime numbers in the city.

In a lot of ways, crime is desperation. Crime is lack of opportunity. Crime is lack of education. I mean, people turn to violence in the streets — a lot of what we see in the city, whether it's drug dealing or things like that, is because of lack of opportunity. Ironically, we had a summer meeting the other day. And in the meeting we were really talking about violence, and people assume it's teenagers, and it really isn't teenagers. Not that violence doesn't happen amongst teenagers, but the issue we really have is [with people ages] 25 to 40, mostly men. We've got to figure out how we deal with that issue. Those are the folks that are causing most of the shootings and most of the homicides in our city, and we have to figure out what do we do there to try and create opportunities for people.

Mathieu: Police Commissioner Gross followed Police Commissioner Evans and having a real in-person on the street kind of presence — walking neighborhoods and talking with people. I know that's a big component in your approach. We're also, I understand, going to have a new batch of body cameras on the streets next week.

Walsh: Yeah, we have body cameras coming next week. We also have a new recruit class coming out of the academy. You know, body cameras [are] not going to reduce violence. Body cameras [are] another tool that police officers will be able to use to maybe calm the situation down. But it's really going to take more than that. It's going to take building relationships [and] building trust. What we noticed when we did the body camera pilot, is there is a way to work policing that needs to happen. It's not just a piece of equipment on a uniform, it needs to be the individual behind that camera. And I think that that's what we really focused on. And I'm proud of the work that our police department does. They do really good work in really difficult situations.

Mathieu: That perception of transparency, though, can help to keep the peace. Can it not?

Walsh: Yeah, the perception, and the reality, of transparency is so important. And I think that having transparency is so important, and having trust is so important. I think that the camera will lead to another component of that trust and transparency. I mean, I think as we move forward I would much prefer, rather than reacting to an incident, just to be proactive. That's what we're doing here in Boston, we're being proactive, and we're not reacting to what's happened around the country in the last the last five years.

Mathieu: Mayor Walsh, the arrival of summer [and] the onset of warmer weather can often be associated with an uptick in homelessness as well. And you've been making pretty great strides — you made a pretty major announcement about veteran homelessness this week.

Walsh: Yeah, since 2015 we've housed over 1,000 chronically homeless veterans. We've housed nearly 800 chronically homeless people on top of that. We saw a decrease in homelessness of about 20 percent over the last few years here. But that doesn't mean people still don't show up on the street, and it's a complex issue. People are homeless for many different reasons. You know, it could be a bad economy, it could be mental illness, it could be substance abuse. [There are] a whole bunch of different reasons why people are homeless. And we just need to continue to stay aggressive on that. We're also working with Bridge Over Troubled Waters and the Boston Public Schools and other folks on a $5,000,000 grant that we got from the federal government to end youth homelessness in the city. So, you know, I'm happy the work we're doing, but tonight unfortunately there'll still be somebody living on the streets of Boston.

Mathieu: You've cut the ribbon this week on a big project in Boston called The Union. You were there with the [governor] and even Cardinal O'Malley was there. This picks up on the same story: affordable housing, but also housing specifically for people who have experienced homelessness.

Walsh: Yeah, it was a great project. It is homeless housing in downtown Boston. It's on Boylston Street. Beautiful views for people. I had a chance to tour three units about a month ago — three formerly homeless individuals that showed me their apartment. And really putting some pride back in somebody's life is so important. They're looking to build another building in downtown and in a skyscraper, which is nice because you have to give people the opportunity. But this is all of us together. This is St. Francis House, Pine Street [and] Rosie's Place — all of these different organizations working together to end homelessness. That's how it gets done. It's not one person. It's not me, it's not the governor, it's not one individual. We have to work as a team.

Mathieu: To have a turnout like that, to have as many dignitaries as you had and shine a light on this project, is that the model for the future of affordable housing in Boston?

Walsh: I think it is. You know, when we closed the Long Island Bridge, which we had to do and we had to move a homeless facility, we really sat down and started coming up with a different model. People are paying attention to what's happening in Boston. My friends, colleagues, mayors, their numbers are going up and they just don't know how to get ahead of the issue [and] they're trying to figure it out. If you take your eye off the ball at all for a second, the number will jump up again. This is a constant daily vigilance situation that we've got to work on. And I think that Boston actually could be a model for the rest of the country to follow to end homelessness.

Mathieu: With what is happening at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that could threaten to reverse some of the trends that we have seen, particularly with what we're hearing from Secretary Ben Carson.

Walsh: There needs to be a change there. There needs to be change in Washington, but there needs to be a change in HUD. You need to have somebody who has compassion and care who wants to help people in that office ... who has an understanding of housing. I think he's a surgeon. You know, his biggest announcement he's ever made was the other day with kicking families out of public housing. Well, if we keep families out probably housing — even for the people listening to the show that don't think they should be in public housing — they end up on the street. So one way or the other, people are going to pay the costs of having people on the street. So I think that having that type of rhetoric coming out of Washington is wrong, and I think that having an agency like HUD who doesn't fund their housing properly, putting restrictions on us and don't fund us ... they contradict themselves an awful lot down there.

Mathieu: So it's almost a transfer of the bill to take care of these families from the federal government to the city of Boston?

Walsh: That's what's going to happen. We have a waiting list, so if people get thrown out of public housing that are immigrants, there's plenty of people to take their place. But the families that get thrown out, now they end up on the street. And they end up in our shelters. And we're trying to reduce the numbers of people in shelters. So that continues the cycle of poverty, and we would see our numbers of homelessness in the streets of Boston — and across America — go up. It just doesn't make any sense to me what the suggestion of policy out of Washington is.

Mathieu: Maybe Secretary Carson should come to The Union.

Walsh: Yeah, I think it'd probably be the first time he's in a homeless facility, if he came. In saying that, let me just be fair here, the people that work in the HUD office actually do good work. They're career people. They actually do the work.

Mathieu: You're talking about leadership.

Walsh: Yeah, I'm talking about Carson's leadership. But the people that work there, thank God they're there, because they do care. And they do work hard.

Mathieu: Time for another road trip, Mr. Mayor.

Walsh: Yeah, maybe.

Mathieu: So can the city of Boston handle another championship parade this summer, as we're talking about the season?

Walsh: I don't get ahead of myself. St. Louis is not a bad team. I mean, I think Jan. 6 they were in last place in the NHL. They overachieve and they're a good team, so we can't take it for granted. So we're not going to talk about parades until the final minute of the fourth clinching game, if you will.