Boston's Mass. And Cass. Cleared Of All Tents, Mayor Wu Says


A line of tents at the intersections of Mass. Ave and Melnea Cass. Boulevard in Boston's South End. Photo: Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio

Updated 11:08 AM

BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Thursday that the intersection of Mass. Ave and Melnea Cass. Boulevard in Boston's South End, colloquially known as "Mass. and Cass.," has been cleared of all the people living there and their belongings.

Wu said a total of 154 people living in tents were "referred to" other housing situations, and the last tent came down at around 6:00 PM Wednesday night on Atkinson Street.

"Not a single person was forcibly removed, no arrests were made," she said, though she did note a knife fight occurred on Wednesday.

The belongings of the final people living at the intersection were filed away into black and yellow bins. The area had been a hotspot of the regional struggle with opioid addiction and homelessness, greatly exacerbated by the pandemic. Open drug use had been prolific in the area.

Wu stressed that the clearing of the intersection was a public health issue, and that the city and other service providers had been working on getting the area clear for weeks, if not years.

"It was extremely unsafe to live in tents, unhoused, no heat or running water, in winter in Boston," she said, stressing that there was a "disconnect" between the services available for the homeless in the city and their ability to access those services. Wu said that the city's fight against homelessness had not been solved by the clearing, and that there was still work to be done.

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