‘It’s sad to see’: Somerville addresses concerns about encampment under busy highway

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The Mayor of Somerville says city officials are working to address concerns about a homeless camp under the Southeast Expressway.

The trash, tarps, bikes, and collection of furniture are in plain view on McGrath Highway right next to a new luxury condo building and across the street from a busy Stop and Shop.

Neighbors told Boston 25 News that they’ve been dealing with quality-of-life issues related to the encampment underneath Interstate 93 for months.

A meeting was held just last week with residents to listen to the problems they’ve been dealing with.

Some aren’t convinced that enough is being done.

“It is sad to see that it’s not being handled appropriately by the city,” said neighbor Jason Myrnyj. “It’s something in the world you have to come across, but it is unfortunate that people around here have to look at it.”

Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne said intensive outreach by the Somerville Homeless Coalition is being conducted.

The goal has been to connect people with support services before the area is closed off for MassDOT work on I-93 this spring.

“We’re trying to address a humanitarian crisis that’s happening now in our city,” said Mayor Ballantyne. “‘They many times feel safer in that community than in a congregate setting.”

Mayor Ballantyne said police patrols have been increased and that the city is working with its DPW team to coordinate regular removal of trash from the bustling area.

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

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