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City must find a non-disruptive solution to homeless problem

Melvin B. Miller

Thanksgiving is a terrible time to be homeless. It is when family members gather and sustain one another with a loving spirit against life’s difficulties. In this season there is a human inclination to help those less fortunate.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to be helpful. The City of Boston provides a shelter for the homeless on Long Island, but now it is inaccessible. Consequently, the city’s Department of Public Health must find other accommodations.

The problem is that the homeless are often not simply those lacking the funds for rent. Some are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and others have untreated mental difficulties. Consequently, the Long Island homeless group is also unfortunately a social problem.

A singularly bad idea is to utilize the now closed Radius Hospital on Townsend Street in Roxbury. Shelters provide only a place to spend the night. Come dawn, 200 people would be disgorged into the residential community. Such a plan would shatter the quality of life in a neighborhood that is battling to resolve its own problems.

Roxbury is not a dumping ground. It has already absorbed the “sober homes” on Washington Street and elsewhere. Roxbury residents oppose the Radius Hospital plan.