Downtown residents discuss homelessness in Back Bay and BPL area
Downtown Boston residents trying to understand what to do with the rising homeless population in their neighborhood attended a public forum on the topic hosted by the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay at the Boston Public Library.
The need for housing was also mentioned by James O’Connell, founder and president of the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program.
O’Connell credited the city for its treatment of homelessness as a public health crisis throughout the years but said weakness in all sectors need to be addressed as more people come into the shelter system and into the city.
“I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that much great work is being done,” he said. “We’ve worked with individuals to get them housed or get them to the services they need, and then the next group comes in afterwards. So this is an ongoing problem that at some point will only be solved systemically. So please be very careful that we don’t assume that the problem is the same problem.”