By Dan Rizzo
Boston City Officials have unilaterally decided to move their homeless, opioid, mental health, and alcohol afflicted, and unvaccinated COVID-19 residents from the Mass Ave. and Melena Cass Blvd. area (otherwise known as “Methadone Mile”) to a hotel in the peaceful residential neighborhood of North Revere.
Just recently, the Boston Police made 30 drug arrests, 16 stabbing arrests, 2 shooting arrests and 2 homicide arrests in this out-of-control public health and safety problem area and now, Boston wants to relocate them from that area to Revere. This is unacceptable.
Many, if not all of the people that Boston wants to relocate to Revere reportedly have addiction and/or mental health issues and as we well know, Revere has their hands full with our own residents that are dealing with these concerns.
It is unrealistic to think that these relocated Boston residents are going to remain in their hotel rooms 24 hour each day and Revere simply doesn’t have the social services and resources to deal with the magnitude of the problems that Boston wants to send our way.
Further, if the homeless Boston residents are to be relocated to Revere, we are not sure if this may include school age children. Unfortunately, Revere’s schools are already overcrowded and there is just no space to accommodate them.
This problem needs to be addressed now. This hotel was not zoned as a rehab facility, a hospital, or a rooming house- it was zoned as a hotel.
Boston has plenty of hotels. If they wanted to clean up this dangerous and blighted area, they could have done so using its own resources. Revere simply cannot, nor should we have to provide for additional educational, medical, food and transportation services for what could easily become an emergency housing facility for upwards of 300 transitory Boston homeless residents, dormitoried in a Revere hotel.
We should not have to strain these resources for a problem that emanates out of Boston, putting Revere neighborhoods at risk. We, as taxpayers have to pay for these services and need to send a message to Boston letting them know that they need to find adequate alternatives within their own city limits.
Action needs to be taken now and it can only be taken by the people in charge. Sending a letter to the city of Boston is not the solution. Flagging an issue without offering a solution is just complaining. Our building department along with our city’s legal team should issue an immediate cease and desist as a result of zoning violations and withdraw the occupancy permit for the hotel and order the building closed.
Finally, I urge all residents throughout the city to have their voices heard. If we do not speak up, this will turn into Revere’s own “Methadone Mile”.
Dan Rizzo is the former Mayor of Revere as well as a candidate for City Council in the upcoming November election.