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After forcing homeless away from Methadone Mile street, city now wants them to return

Jay'da Rackard

A tearful Jay'dha Rackard explains why she's transferring from the Orchard Gardens School: Too many addicts right outside school doors.

After successfully moving homeless people and drug users away from Atkinson Street, where a South Bay correction officer was attacked last week, city officials acknowledge one result has been to simply push them into surrounding neighborhoods.

At a forum at the South End BPL branch tonight, city Methadone Mile czar William Christopher said the goal now is to get people back to Atkinson Street, so that city outreach workers can get them the treatment and services they might need.

Christopher said two sweeps last week in particular were aimed at removing drug dealers and violent people who were preying on the addicts who had been gathering on Atkinson Street and other part of the Methadone Mile area, and that going forward police would concentrate on keeping those criminals out so that other substance abusers can feel safe enough to return and seek services.

"We don't believe we can arrest our way out of this," Christopher said:

Christopher makes a point

The meeting, sponsored by the South End Forum, had to be moved from a conference room that could hold maybe 50 people to the park next to the library. The session occasionally grew heated. Advocates for the homeless squared off with city and police officials over ongoing sweeps - and sometimes with South End residents. Roxbury residents and parents, meanwhile, expressed anger that it took the attack on a corrections officer to get the sort of city action they had been asking for for several years.

Jay'dha Rackard, an 11-year-old from Roxbury who had been going to the Orchard Gardens School, near what City Councilor Kim Janey called "Ground Zero," had to wipe away tears before talking about how she's transferring this fall to the Davis Leadership Academy, because she could no longer take going to a school where addicts would congregate regularly to shoot up, leaving behind endless numbers of needles, and worse. Her mother, Janina, recalled a special clean-up day the school sponsored - when students went to toss bags of trash in a school dumpster, they found a man overdosing right in the dumpster, and had to be quickly ushered away as community activist Domingos DaRosa started CPR to try to keep him alive until EMTs could get there.

Christopher said that following the Thursday attack and Friday raids, both police and city substance-abuse street workers had stepped up their patrols in areas not just immediately surrounding Methadone Mile but in neighborhoods such as Dorchester, Roxbury and South Boston, where the people pushed out of Atkinson Street have been going. Alleys in particular are being patrolled, to find displaced people and "to get homeless folks to go back to Atkinson Street," he said.

Christopher and Marty Martinez, the city's chief of health and human services added that they are caught in a tough spot, balancing the needs of the homeless and the addicted with the needs of residents to be safe on their streets and in their homes.

"There is no simple answer," Martinez said. "Anyone who tells you there is a simple answer is lying."

Christopher addressed the widely circulated photos from last night showing wheelchairs being put into and crushed by city trash trucks, or, at least, one particular wheelchair, one found outside Boston Medical Center, which he said was a public-health issue all by itself because it was full of feces, urine and blood. If people were ordered out of wheelchairs, which were then crushed, "that should not have happened," Martinez said.

One homeless advocate screamed he was a murderer; South End residents booed.

At one point, one resident yelled "We appreciate what you do!" at D-4 Capt. Steven Sweeney. "No we don't!" somebody else yelled.

A doctor, nurse and residents who work with the homeless and substance abusers said others need to stop vilifying them and that the city should be fighting more aggressively for treatment, for safe-injections sites and for the construction of the proposed Long Island treatment complex - and the bridge to get to it. City officials agreed. Martinez said the city cannot legally proceed with a safe-injection site. He added Gov. Baker strongly opposes the idea; the local US Attorney has vowed to prosecute anybody who sets one up.

"People are sick and they need help," City Councilor Kim Janey said, adding that at the same time, the city can't simply push the problem out from Methadone Mile, that kids have a right to go to schools and parks free of needles. "It's important we do not pit neighborhoods against each other," she added.

One East Concord Street resident said she is sympathetic to problems of homeless people, but at the same time, she shouldn't have to be calling 911 just to get out of her own home. She recounted a recent incident in which two men were sitting on her stoop and "one decided, let me be naked." She called 911, an officer came and shooed the two men away - and then not long after the cop left, the two men, one still naked, returned, she said.

Harrison Avenue landlord Mario Nicosia, though, was having none of the sympathy. Nicosia, handed out lists of Level 3 sex offenders at the Pine Street Inn before the meeting, pointed to the woman attacked on Harrison Avenue on Sunday and said he is tired of picking up human waste outside his buildings. "Some of these people are absolutely nuts," he said, recalling watching one guy "beating the shit out of a metal sign with his fists."



1, not fair to conflate the homeless with the addicted, even if there is a lot of overlap. For the homeless, Boston is one of the few cities to provide 100% shelter and has moved toward a housing-first model with hundreds of new supportive housing apartments.

Mass. and Cass is a substance use disorder situation, attracting people from all over New England who are not close to establishing a solid recovery yet. City has expanded services down there dramatically and has dozens of compassionate outreach and treatment workers on the ground.

2, the headline implies some irrational, incompetent move by the city. But this was a necessary and long-overdue effort to pull out the violent offenders and dealers with warrants while cleaning up some of the toxic debris.


The only solution is the old solution that worked pretty well; the long island treatment center.

People who are struggling with addiction to the level that they are sitting on a woman's stoop naked, having sex on a playground in front of kids or od'ing in a trash bin need a whole complex of support in a safe area away from other residents of the city going about their day and dealers and predators who are looking to sell them drugs or rob them when they pass out.

These organizations that pass out socks and underwear, they are great and amazing people, but they can't do a thing for the addicted with their compassion. There will always be some homeless in the area who avail themselves of the shelters and medical services and they sit in the park and can benefit from small kindnesses like fresh socks, a free meal, a dollar or some kindness. Those folks have been around the South End since I got there in 2005 and probably long before.

But the tragically addicted are not these people and just setting up a bin for them to throw away needles, a space for them to go inject themselves, or pushing them back out to atkinson street to sleep is inhumane when there is a large treatment center nearby that helped people for years until the bridge came down.


New facilities on Long Island is the long-term solution, but what was out there before was no match for the opioid crisis that was overwhelming it. The majority of people on the Island on a given night were at the City homeless shelter, which was rebuilt on Southampton Street in the months after the bridge was closed. (And there's no good reason to stick homeless people out on the island if they are not in need of treatment.)

All the addiction treatment beds were replaced in different locations around the city. And it's not just people handing out socks down there--it's trained professionals providing medication and clean needles and access to residential treatment. There's still not enough beds, but you've also got to be ready to get well before treatment will take.


those treatment beds were not replaced. if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you. the burden of proof is on the city and aside from platitudes like "all the beds have been replaced" ive never seen actual numbers. where are the beds? its total bullshit. and the island *did* work.


The only solution is the old solution that worked pretty well; the long island treatment center


The main thing that worked "pretty well" about Long Island was that it's far enough away that other people didn't have to see or think about the people with problems.

That was a bad situation.
This is worse.


The main thing that worked pretty well is Long Island was nowhere near a packie or dealer. Once they were out on the island all they had was a bed, meal and community TV and programs like STRIVE.
Pine Street is a "wet" shelter where they would let you in impaired as long as you behaved, Long Island was a "dry" shelter where you were required to be sober.

Ever been on the island? I spent a bit of time there in my 10 years working for Pine Street


About 10 years ago. I don't know if they changed their policies after that. I doubt it though. They didn't advertise they were a wet shelter, but they didn't require people to be sober to get entry. A staff member specifically brought it up during a tour.

It won't be a shelter any longer, at least under the most recent plans. Instead it will be a long-term treatment facility.

is there a link or information about those most recent plans that can be shared? this is an issue that I try and stay informed about but must have missed this and would be really interested in what that report(?) had to say. i'm not trolling, genuinely interested. i know there were a few articles that WBUR had published late 2018, im not sure if that is what you are referring too. and if you can thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

that rule but it was not allowed when I was there.
I hated going over that bridge in the truck!

Segregating addicts in a peaceful environment is the best chance they have to really get better. I have an aunt who has money and insurance and lives in Washington State. She has gone to treatment for alcohol and pills several times in her life and it has always been on an island or some remote natural setting where she's had the best results. Cost quite a bit of money, too. I'm sure no one likes to be stuck in a facility anywhere for a month or longer confronting your life, but if you have to, do it on an island.

Everyone should watch "Seattle is Dying" -- it is a brave look at this issue.



A cautionary tale for Boston. Thanks for this extremely well done video. There is so much packed into it voices from all walks of life on the quality of life for all. Thanks for sharing!


Since it was done by a Sinclair station, but I kept an open mind. For those who don't think they can spare the hour, the first 45 or so minutes are about the myriad of problems Seattle is facing vis a vis their version of the Methadone Mile (which is downtown.) The last 15 or so minutes are about possible solutions (which Seattle and King County were not doing.)

But as other say, in the end it was worth watching.


It happens in every major city in the US. Opioids are the devil and these pharma companies should be help accountable.

You want to round up violent folks with warrants, go for it.

But what didn't need to happen was the throwing away of *everybody's* stuff. Violent or not. Warrant or not. Wheelchairs were crushed in a trash truck for fuck's sake.

The Mayor Walsh administration got this one totally wrong, and did it in an overzealous way to protect law enforcement.

The wheelchairs that were crushed were stolen and they were covered with feces. They were not taken away handicaped. If you come to South End, you can see at least a few abandoned wheelchairs, stolen from BMC or Tufts. Even if you clean them, I would not want anyone to use them.


Exactly. There has been laissez faire policing down there for years, and sweeping up everyone together in one night doesn't clean things up.

The guy who was just arrested for wrapping a chord around a woman's neck who was closing her gallery on Sunday night in SOWA was well known to everyone who lives around SOWA and South Boston. He'd walk up and down A Street all the time, jumping in front of people's cars. He was removed from Barley's in Fort Point by the police at one time.

There are so many homeless who stay at the shelter and do nothing to anybody all day as they just need a place to sit somewhere in the neighborhood while the shelter is closed. They sit in the park, sometimes they panhandle. Mostly they are meek and appreciative of even the smallest help or friendliness. Sometimes, you'll see someone noticeably high and rocking or even passed out. Sad, but not illegal, and in most cases, someone will assist them, or call paramedics, but not arrest them, because passing out is also not illegal.

Day in and day out, it is easy to figure out who needs to be arrested and who does not. Police need to feel empowered to arrest and put people into the system if they are aggressive and breaking laws. There is no law against being indigent or sitting in a public place. There are laws about getting right up in people's face and yelling at them, threatening, menacing, destroying property and crapping in public. Policing needs to happen on a daily basis, when people cross these lines, not all at once because they "look" like they fit "the profile" -- a profile of homeless or addicted which, frankly, is not against the law all in itself.

It seems to me that, if there are only a limited amount of precious resources to help addiction recovery, the community should be removing the people who are not really going to be helped by those resources, so that the people who are ready to maybe, god willing, make a go at recovery, can get that access. Getting arrested for violent behavior is a good way to save a bed for someone else who needs it.

I feel that girl is over reacting switching schools because of a few needles and what happens in the streets. That area use to be a lot worse, and I bet her neighborhood has it's fair share of violence. Seems forced to me


Try a lot of needles. Every week. There's also the human excrement and that guy ODing in the dumpster.

But have you actually visited either the school or the neighborhood?


F Off! That girl (child) has every right to want to feel SAFE and have a better life. Over dramatic? Do you have no heart? After being at the meeting tonight I feel like there are Many out there that do not.


"A right to feel safe" is what got us stop and frisk, the war on terror, racial segregation, single-family zoning, the red line not being extended to Arlington, etc.

Bad policy and disproportionate emphasis on perceptual risk got us those things. A right to feel safe does not necessarily lead to bad policy, it could also lead us to compassionate policy that treats people with substance use disorders humanely--for instance, clean injection sites with appropriate needle disposal, widespread support for treatment that works (e.g. medication assisted treatment) and expanded housing first supported housing units. All evidence based, all designed to support the needs and shared values of the community as well as the people who need the services.

Slippery-slope argument, ignores the other important details of each situation. Invalid.

WTF? Where's your humanity? Your decency?

I don't claim to have any answers but I know one thing not to do is vilify or cast aspersions on the intentions of a schoolgirl.

I'm disgusted by this.


Actually the Orchard Park area has never been this bad. Even back in the 80's with the crack epidemic they didn't have people OD'ing in school dumpsters or sitting naked on stoops. Heck back in the 60's and 70's when I lived there It was downright idyllic. Black kids and white kids playing together in harmony. A great mix of Brownstones, Public projects, Triple-deckers, neighborhood stores, hospitals, factories and churches where anyone could live and thrive. That's all mostly gone now.


And she didn't feel she could play safely at her school because she might stab her foot on a junkie's used needle, you'd tell her to suck it up?

I don't think so.


absolutely right its all the girls fault... her family probably sells the drugs outside the school too right? and just fyi... little girls dont just unenroll themselves and register in new schools so at least refine your racism to be factually correct and at least blame the parent (the single mother because of course the black father left her to live on methadone mile)


In Southie over the past 10 years as the local riff-raff (as the new locals say) were being pushed out and you lost some of that (for lack of a better description) "local flavor"

A drunk here and there, a fistfight, somebody keyed my caaaaah, but the demo has shifted and it's much more expensive to live here now. So a lot of that "local flavor" has been replaced and compounded by needles, nodding off junkies in front of your house, human excrement, it goes on and on. Woke up one morning to some junkie who'd fallen off a triple decker roof a couple houses down from us because he "thought" he was breaking into someone elses apartment who owed him money (He got caught halfway down and was sorta hanging upside-down from a porch).

Except now that's not Bill O'Mackenzie's son Bawby who had to much to drink. These are desperate, violent, mentally disturbed individuals who's background and prior records are largely unavailable to law enforcement.

While 30% of this nation is absorbed in a fevered panic over an ACTUAL "false flag" thousands of miles away (sorry, FOX. There is no invasion of brown people) we have sick, desperate, and dying humans on our doorsteps.

Build the bridge now.

(And we're watching, Marty. Don't carve it up so the Fish family gets a private beach out of it either)


The original.

Has the suicide rate gone down?

I blame that on Heroin.

Well, aren't you special. South Boston is an urban neighborhood that has had a large 'deprived' population, many of whom were/are white. This, imho, seems to be bug many 'newcomers' have up their ass. Most have no experience dealing with big city white urban working class/poor. And, since popular culture almost never shows such people in movies, tv shows, they're maybe surprised they exist. Some people call them white n-word. And I don't meam wiggas.

I seriously doubt they'd publicly call the scary locals in a neighborhood with large 'deprived' non-white population 'riff-raff'.

I mention all this to point out glaring hypocrisy.

As of 7:52am on Thursday August 8th there 9 others (assuming you didnt like your own post) who lack empathy and share the same warped sense of reality.

At least you're not alone.

11yr. olds shouldn't have to attend public meetings to beg adults to to clean up drug addicts' needles so she and other students can feel safe at school. But go ahead and mock this girl for being brave enough to speak up for herself.


I lived in that neighborhood in the 90's (height of the bad old days, IMO), and after I moved to Dot I drove through there every day for 10 years. I recently was back in the area with my kids and it is unrecognizable. It was certainly no utopia 25 years ago, but this is not just more of the same. The suffering on display is shocking and made my normally tough 16 year old burst into tears. No kid should have to experience that every morning. No people with substance use disorders should have to live that every day.

Regarding your last comment that she should be OK with seeing that because "her neighborhood has its fair share of violence". Assume much? Most neighborhoods in Boston are safer than ever, but even if she does live in a neighborhood with violence, ever heard of the cumulative impact of toxic stress? Kids who experience trauma regularly should be the ones we shield the most from additional trauma. But thanks for sharing your opinion on what "feels forced". You obviously need a lot more empathy, and a lot more education.


The uptick after the bridge was closed was noticeable, but the last 2 years or so has gotten even worse. I don't know if it's all the construction near the Bay Area Mall and perhaps more policing in certain spots that have driven people into a concentrated area where it's just crazy 24/7, but it's almost impossible to drive on the 93, there's so much theatre going on by the on ramp.

possible the last two years have been influenced by our climate-changing warmer winters. it's been a while since we had a few weeks of real hard, kill-you-if-you're-in-it, "homeless deterrant" snow and temperatures.

either way, whatever the reason, the city needs to get the state to help with this. Boston has just become a dumping ground for cities who don't want to deal with it.

The past few winters, we’ve had temperatures below zero. Back in December 2017/January 2018 the temperature did not go above freezing for 2 weeks. I’m fairly certain that those conditions, at least in theory, would act as a deterrent for sleeping rough. Necessity, on the other hand, does not abide by the thermometer.

Some people ask why I don’t mind coming across as a climate change skeptic. I always reply that it’s not the hard data (which is there and tough to deny). It’s stupid anecdotes like this.

To stagger some public works' folks hours so they can clean up Orchard Gardens and the surrounding area before the kids come in to school. Or maybe have a special work crew from Project Place or something sweep the area at 5 am. Plus the police could take a spin by there on a nightly basis to make sure there's nobody shooting up in the schoolyard. Opiate addiction is terrible- maybe medical science will find a more effective way to arrest this curse at some point.


It's been suggested to the city multiple times and ignored multiple times


The larger problem of addiction and Methadone Mile is a complicated and difficult issue without simple and easy solutions. Extracting an elementary school from that equation should not be.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a special Boston police force that “was formed in order to help create and maintain a safe and welcoming environment in all school buildings”?


I can’t believe that the major can’t get the area of the school covered 24/7. It’s not necessary to solve the problems with addiction in Boston before children can be safe in their little orchard. They are not participants in that mess and shouldn’t even have to think about it.


Just from a trash (and needle) perspective, it's nasty there.


Fancy title for a high paid consultant. Commando cleaning was a total bust. If the city of Quincy refuses to budge on the rebuilding of the bridge take the addicts and drug dealers down to Andrew station and ship them off to Quincy.

That's what I called him. His official title is something way vaguer, like "special assistant to the mayor," but he's been put in charge of overseeing Methadone Mile as his first job (until recently, he was head of ISD).

wasn't he Father Mulcahy?

Quincy already has a homeless shelter (Father Bills), multiple detox places and it's own homeless population and drug addicts, visit the library on day for this. It also takes people from surrounding areas.

is an epic failure on key critical issues like addressing global warming, and kids know it, so they realize their testimony is important to other issues in their own backyard. hence a trend.

i can't think of a better address to this issue than an island hospital where the deeply sick can get well and have the right amount of distance from communities

Out of sight; out of mind.

I think you mean "out of easy reach of liquor stores and drug dealers, away from the communities they're currently actively destroying, while receiving better care"

residents of these neighborhoods will not apologize for not wanting to see vomit, feces, blood, fights, and dying human beings on their streets every day, but if you like that kind of thing you can always move to the area


It's not an either-or situation.

It can be a "both - and" - we can accomplish both worthy & necessary goals - not letting somebody's neighborhood be turned into a hellhole AND get addicts better care - WITHOUT warehousing them out-of-sight, out-of-mind because some people are as opposed to having the care center near them as having the streetside needlefest. The addicts are in need of medical help, but they're not contagious.

All it takes is some fortitude and leadership.

The neighborhoods with the highest concentration of public drug use, needles, etc. are also the neighborhoods with the most treatment centers. I am very skeptical that, at this moment in history, you can have one without the other. Treatment centers are famously and notoriously unregulated (legally un-regulate-able in fact), and are under no obligation to do anything about neighborhood impacts of their operations.

For these reasons, treatment on an island that is not physically connected to any neighborhoods will be very appealing to many, for entirely justifiable reasons.

"not physically connected"? Ummm....

Not connected to a Boston neighborhood, sure. Not directly. Not conveniently.

The island is, however, physically directly connected to Squantum - a Quincy neighborhood. So nice of you to slough the problem off on them. Or will the associated problems somehow not afflict that neighborhood like they would Orchard Gardens or the South End?

Long Island, if/when the bridge is rebuilt, connects to Moon Island (home to a BPD firing range and not much else), which in turn connects to Squantum by a thin road on a causeway with no sidewalks. Long Island is not directly connected to Squantum.

So yes, "somehow" the problems would at least be easier to manage. The specific "how" would be Sculpin Ledge Channel.

i was down that way on Tuesday night and it was just as big of mess as it was last week or any recent night. people passed out on the sidewalks on Southampton, people injecting on the side streets. The only thing i noticed that the police had blocked off one of the side streets that connects into Theodore Glynn Way, which i figured was a detail paid for by the food plant so their drivers wouldn't have to deal with people.


Why is rebuilding the bridge and re-opening the facilities on Long Island viewed as such a great solution? By housing folks out there are we creating distance between the people living there and the social services that will help them re-establish their lives and connect with long-term services--let alone employment. To what extent do we view the island as a way to warehouse people out of sight?

First, the plans do NOT call for recreating the old shelter of the past. The new plan calls for Long Island to be a long-term treatment facility, where people can recover and gain the strength and tools to go back into society without constantly being prey for drug dealers and the violent. That's the reason to isolate it on an island.


I'm not a trained social worker. I know they are here for treatment, but I can't do it. I can't provide them with what they need. I would fix this problem if I could, but just because I live here doesn't mean I'm qualified.

We need to help this population in a real way. This is cruel to everyone. Nobody should be sitting naked outside or sleeping on Melna Cass, in the street in the way of traffic.

The homeless need real help. Honest to goodness real help. I can't help at the level they need it.

This should be addressed at a state level. Doesn't Quincy have an abandoned hospital? Wouldn't that be a better solution? We can bus the ill to BMC from there. It's pretty close.

So tired of this sort of martial law stupidity for dealing with any and all social, mental health, and medical ills.

The data are out there. The solutions are well-vetted at this poing. The city should be acting on FACTS not emotions of bullies. This was all about Marty being THE BIG MAN and not at all about solving any problems.

Look at the Yelp reviews of the two hotels on Mahty’s Mile. Poor traveling people who stay there.


Last summer, I met up with a friend of the missus who was visiting Boston. I asked where they were staying, and it ends up that it was at the Hampton Inn by Melnea Cass. I decided not to tell them about the reputation of the area as to not scare them. This year, we met up out there and I told them what the area is known for. She said she had no problem.

I guess when you know what to look for you see it. Otherwise, you don't see it.

Homeless addicts are not just going to disappear. The city has to decide whether it prefers how its been lately, with huge concentrations along Methadone Mile, the back yard of the city, or would it prefer to be like San Francisco, with dense concentrations of homeless addicts in quite visible parts of the city, downtown, Back Bay, and the Common/Public Garden. Building that new bridge to Long Island is the one thing that might lower concentrations of homeless people in the city. How many years has it been down now, with little progress on a replacement?

Methadone Mile may have the highest concentration of addicted people, but the problem is dispersed well beyond that area. Downtown Crossing adjacent to the Park Street Station and the Boston Common and Copley Square around the Boston Public Library are, as you'd suspect, prime areas for scoring, using, and nodding. It's amazing to me that the City has let this go on in prime tourism areas. The long-term ramifications for one of the city's most important industries are going to be profoundly negative.


The park is impassable now. So sad.

Nobody wants to be an addict just as nobody wants to have cancer!! Please have some respect and stop calling these people junkies!! These people are mothers fathers sons and daughters thank you

They may not want to be addicted, but many of them don't really want to stop using drugs, either.

If only somebody would invent a non-addictive opioid... oh wait

"substance-abuse users" ? Was that an editing mistake or are you tripping over your own tongue trying to be ultra P.C. ?

Nice to know somebody thinks I'm perfect and would never make simple writing mistakes while trying to compose a story at a small table at the back of, oh, let's say New York Pizza at Mass. and Columbus after a long and contentious meeting while trying hard not to knock over a bottle of diet Pepsi because the table's really small and their slices, while not up there on the overall taste scale, are very large.


hey, their slices are excellent

There is no panacea

That said there is a hierarchy of critical tasks that government at all levels needs to take up:

  1. First overall safety of the community from threats to life and property
    1. Especially the threat of gangs and terrorists
    2. Clean water from the faucet
    3. Clean air to breathe
    4. Fire safety
    5. Workplace and public venue safety
  2. Second insuring that residents can go about day to day activities without undue disruptions
    1. reliable electricity
    2. neighborhoods, businesses and public venues free from street crime
    3. functioning transportation
  3. Third providing a nice place to live
    1. Good Schools
    2. Libraries
    3. Public Parks
    4. Beaches
    5. Tree-lined streets
    6. etc.
  4. Making the community a place where people would want to visit

But let's start with the first one concentrating on the kids -- those innocents among us who should NEVER encounter gun fire, physical abuse, or exposure to needles, etc. -- and certainly not on a public street, or in a public park, library, train station, etc.

Remember -- Shooting-up, shooting, knifing, setting fires, having sex, urinating, defalcating and living on a public street are all illegal acts -- letting them happen without control is a symptom of a sick city.

Boston's level of un-civil affliction so far is minor compared to many other major cities [e.g. S.F., LA, Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New Orleans, etc.] -- to date Boston's minor level of this affliction is a selling point for the city*1 -- but this state is fragile and could easily be lost without the will to take necessary actions.

*1 -- no foreign government has warned its citizens of travel to Boston as several have for several US cities

In fact, some foreign governments, within living memory, HAVE warned their citizens away from Boston, or at least parts of it (true, it had nothing directly to do with the current Methadone Mile crisis).

Our children can't simply receive the education they are entitled to without worries of the harm that may befall them, or their family members, peers, educators, staff, etc. There's an elementary school with a park near my home where needles have been seen and confiscated (a day or 2 later, and YES I reported it). My kids are older & know well enough to stay away but what about the younger kids? I've seen 3 (I suspect) high drug users roaming in my neighborhood within about 2 hours today. Staggering in the street, carrying big backpacks and looking kind of just out of it and lost. I understand everyone needs help sometimes but they are basically roaming into other residential areas. No more Long Island, no more Meth Mile...soooo... Now we have to EXTRA protect ourselves & kids even if just going out for a gallon of milk. I mean we always do anyway but the added threat to our community doesn't help. So thanks a lot Commissioner Gross for sending a bunch of police cars around when I'm pretty sure most of the people you rounded up got little to no bail and are back on the streets...just not on "Methadone Mile." That is, until probably next week when your police presence is decreased. Smh.