Yesterday, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo declared the Boston Public Health Commission a pack of disorganized buffoons trying to foist Boston's Methadone Mile problems on his fair city by sticking some Mass-and-Cass people in a currently unused Quality Inn there - with no prior notice to him.
Today, acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey says Arrigo knew about the plans:
For the last three weeks, staff from the Boston Public Health Commission and Eliot Community Human Services have met with Mayor Arrigo and his team. They have reviewed plans and followed up on requests.
At issue are 30 people who would be housed at Quality Inn.
Janey said the opioid crisis is a regional one, which will take regional solutions, not simply letting every last person with an addiction fall into the maelstrom at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.
As the largest city in New England, we have appropriately built an even larger safety net, assisting those cities and towns who have not made similar commitments to support their residents. We will not back away from this moral obligation, but Boston must have strong partners throughout the Commonwealth to tackle this crisis.
We know that well over 60% of the people we serve come from outside of Boston. To help provide services closer to the places that people call home, we need other cities and towns to step up.
This includes Revere.
Standing against this proposal means standing against 30 people having a place to call home. It means denying 30 people the health care they deserve at a time they need it most.
Municipal leaders who say that we need to do this work as a region but who fail to take responsibility in their own city or town may be making a good sound bite. But, it does not solve the problem.
We need to stand up together to support our friends, family members and neighbors battling substance use disorder. I want to thank all the cities and towns who have already done so, and I hope Revere is willing to join that list.