Camps near ‘Methadone Mile’ given Monday deadline to leave

BOSTON — City officials are notifying homeless camps along Boston’s notorious ‘Methadone Mile’ that they have until Monday morning to leave the area. Notices were posted on tents along Southampton Street and Atkinson Street with a deadline to vacate by Nov. 1 at 6 a.m.

“Due to health, environmental and sanitary concerns…the City of Boston will conduct a cleanup of this public space,” the notice said, warning tent-dwellers all property left at that time would be thrown out by city workers.

The flyers are part of Mayor Kim Janey’s Oct. 19 executive order to deal with the homeless camps that have overrun the area around Mass. Ave. and Melnea Cass Blvd. The city released its finalized Boston Homeless Encampment Liaison Protocol plan Friday.

“City employees will provide at least 48 hours verbal and written notice to affected individuals, prior to requiring removal of tents from public property,” the plan said. “No unsheltered individual will be required to remove their tent, unless shelter, housing, or treatment is available.”

>>>MORE: City tries to clean up ‘Meth Mile,’ residents say ‘no thanks’

The protocol also offers service outreach “at least twice to each person,” including drug treatment services, access to shelter, transportation to shelter or treatment, free personal storage for 90 days, and help contacting family members.

“It’s not fair that they’re going to give us hardly any time to get out of here,” said Tina Lunn, who has been homeless for three years. “Honestly, I have no idea what I’m going to do. I’m trying to figure it out now.”

Anyone who refuses to move tents on public property “may be considered disorderly and subject to enforcement of existing laws,” the city said. People staying along Methadone Mile are free to leave before the deadline with or without removing their tent and will not be subject to arrest.

Derek O’Brien said he’s been living on the streets on and off for six years.

“I’m always scared. But I always have hope, you know what I’m saying? I always have hope,” he said.