New Roundhouse Hotel resident relieved to exit encampments

BOSTON — The journey for some of those who had been living in tents on Boston’s Mass and Cass corridor has entered a new chapter.

154 people who were connected with transitional housing are now working toward finding something more permanent.

Boston 25 News spoke with one of the 31 people who were connected with housing at the Roundhouse Hotel in Roxbury.

The 35-year-old woman, who we’re only identifying as “Lucy”, said Mayor Wu’s initiative helped her get off the streets for the first time in a decade.

“I’ve been on the housing list for over ten years in the city. It’s been a long wait for me,” she said. “Living in a tent, it’s just awful. It’s inhumane.”

Lucy, who’s originally from Cohasset, is now settling into a room at the hotel on Mass Ave with her boyfriend.

She said she’s working with case management to try to figure out what’s next.

“I went to college. I was on the dean’s list for criminal justice and sociology. I didn’t plan on becoming an addict. It just happened,” she said.

Boston 25 News witnessed more mattresses being brought into the Roundhouse Hotel on Thursday morning.

It’s still unclear if the hotel will be accepting more than the current number of people staying there.

“We’re bringing in lights, mattresses, linens, everything,” said John Vinal with Middlesex Interiors. “I brought 105 mattresses and beds here to put into the hotel Wednesday and Thursday. Last week, I brought 75.”

The efforts to expand other transitional housing sites are also in motion.

More cottages are being added to the temporary cottage community in the parking lot of the Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain.

“We’re testing this solution. It’s the first of its kind coming from California now being opened on the East Coast,” said Chris Palmieri, CEO of Commonwealth Care Alliance.

Commonwealth Care Alliance has been contracted to help design and run the temporary cottage community that has welcomed ten residents so far.

“We’ve already seen the fruits of some of our labor. We have one individual who’s scheduled to get permanent placement back into the community,” explained Palmieri.

The transitional housing opportunities being offered to those who had been living in tents fall into the category of low-threshold housing.

It’s a new resource created by Mayor Wu’s team within the last month where people don’t get kicked out of housing for relapsing.

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