Boston-based floating hospital proposal grabs attention in Mass & Cass discussion

BOSTON — A proposal to explore converting a decommissioned cruise ship into a floating recovery treatment hospital is grabbing attention in the continuing conversation around Mass and Cass.

The idea was discussed during Tuesday night’s monthly meeting of the South End-Newmarket-Roxbury Working Group on Addiction, Recovery, and Homelessness.

State Senator Nick Collins made the proposal that has already been approved by fellow senators as an amendment to their fiscal 2024 budget.

The Boston Democrat discussed how he believes it could help the crisis on the Mass and Cass corridor.

He said he was inspired by a study already done by researchers at MIT which looked into the possibility of turning an old cruise ship into affordable housing units.

“The MIT team did this in about 90 days,” said Sen. Collins. “We need to change the game fundamentally. That requires facilities where we can intervene on demand.”

Senator Collins wants to give the Department of Mental Health $50,000 to study the feasibility of creating a Boston-based floating hospital for substance use treatment, mental health and recovery services.

“We’re trying to respond at a scale that our facilities don’t offer right now,” he added. “This facility would be 24/7 wraparound services.”

The City of Boston also shared a developing step to in the goal to decentralize services with six new state-funded low-threshold transitional housing sites in Boston, Worcester, Leominster, Quincy and Holyoke.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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