BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — As Boston Mayor Michelle Wu begins to tackle the situation at "Mass and Cass," a local recovery specialist has some advice for the new administration.
Katie O'Leary is the director of recovery support services at North Suffolk Mental Health Assocation in Boston.
She believes the City of Boston should adopt the "Hub + COR" approach to tackle the homelessness and drug use at Mass and Cass. She said this approach has been used around the world in Scotland and Canada and in Chelsea, Massachusetts where it has bee proven to work.
"At one point in time Bellingham Square was an epicenter for prostitution, drug use, violence, crime; they were top 11 on the crime list nationally now they're not even on that list anymore," said O'Leary.
Some of the tents have been moved from Mass and Cass, but the problem hasn't gone away. Many people have moved their tents to the side streets around the area.
O'Leary added this problem will not go away unless these people are treated as individuals instead of as a group.
The Hub + COR approach involves several agencies to help people suffering from homelessness and addiction get the help they need. She said police departments, the courts, the schools, DCF and more are involved in this approach, and they all work together.
"They're somebody's daughter, or son, they're somebody's brother or sister, they're somebody's friend, nephew or cousin," said O'Leary.
She added it takes boots on the ground, it takes work, and it takes caring to help get these people the help they need.
WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports: