• Boston residents finding homeless people on their front porches

    By: Natalie Rubino

    Updated:

    BOSTON - People in Dorchester are waking up to homeless people on their front porches.

    Neighbors say the problem keeps getting worse.

    "I got up, I saw someone basically laying right here and they were wrapped up in a white blanket," said Teresa Martins, who found a homeless person on her front porch Monday morning, just after sunrise.

    "I was really frightened cause I thought it was like a dead body or something. And the fact that I kept calling her and she wouldn’t answer, so that got me really scared," Martins said.

    The woman finally woke up and left.

    Meanwhile, a few blocks away, Lis Gorra was dealing with a similar situation.

    "My boyfriend leaves the house before me for work and I got a text from him while I was inside," said Gorra, who found a homeless man barely coherent on the ground in her front porch vestibule. 

    "That same guy fell asleep in my vestibule probably two months ago, at this point, and when we tried to get him out he threatened my boyfriend," Gorra said. 

    Jim Greene, Boston's assistant director for Street Homeless Initiatives, said the city is working hard to end homelessness through shelters and addiction programs.

    Boston saw a 3 percent increase in homelessness in 2018, but this year's January homelessness count was down 25 percent from last year.

    But Gorra and other people who live nearby say they haven't noticed a decline and want more to be done.

    "People are welcome to do what they want to do in public space, it’s just when it gets to our porches and our vestibules and our yards," Gorra said.

    The City of Boston is asking everyone to be their eyes and ears.

    If you spot a homeless person and don't feel safe, officials ask you to call 911. When it becomes a recurring issue, call 311.

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