The area around the Boston intersection known as Mass. and Cass has been cleared of tent encampments once again, in the city's latest push to clear the area known for homelessness and drug use.
City workers are trying to find shelter for the 90 people who had been living in the more than 75 tents they removed over the last couple of days. But this isn't the first time the area has been cleared — and previously, the encampments always returned. Will this effort be different?
Cassie Hurd, executive director of the Material Aid and Advocacy Program, spent hours at Mass. and Cass on Wednesday, which was the last day the city gave to clear tents. She spoke on Greater Boston with GBH News' Tori Bedford, who was also in the area reporting.
"Some may argue this is a gentler touch, but I would argue that sweeping people — regardless of the police presence — there is an abundance of evidence that shows the harmful outcomes," Hurd said, noting that people are quickly separated from their community and the resources they rely on, such as social workers or therapists.
"People know what is best for them, people know what they need, and that isn't what is being offered. I think there are a lot of stopgap measures and offerings that are sort of towards the end of disappearing people from the street and sort of the illusion of movement or progress," Hurd said.
City officials say increased enforcement by Boston police will be rolled out throughout the next month.
Hurd said low-threshold housing options that are being offered often do not provide a person autonomy over their space, visitors, schedule and more. She said it's likely we will see people from Mass. and Cass go to areas on the streets outside of Boston.