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Homeless Problem Addressed by City Councilors at Annual Meeting of Friends of Christopher Columbus Park [Video]

The annual meeting of Friends of Christopher Columbus Park was the forum for a lengthy discussion regarding increasing homeless problems in the park, including a recent death. One of the most troubled areas is the tot lot that often becomes an encampment for homeless people to sleep at night. Parents have found blood in the playground and the horticulture workers find needles on a regular basis.

City Councilors Sal LaMattina, Stephen Murphy and Felix Arroyo spoke about the issue in a discussion moderated by FOCCP President, Joanne Hayes-Rines. Also speaking during the meeting was Jim Greene, Director of the Emergency Shelter Commission (Public Health Commission). There was extensive audience participation with a request for directed patrols and to install a tall wrought iron fence that can be locked at night around the playground.

This meeting was held on Tuesday May 14, 2013 at the Pilot House on Atlantic Avenue. The discussion regarding the homeless discussion starts at the 32:00 minute mark in the video. Before that, there was an abbreviated business meeting. The complete video timeline is shown below.

00:00 Election of Officers

  • President: Joanne Hayes-Rines
  • Vice President: Ann Babbitt
  • Treasurer: Virginia Kimball
  • Clerk: Audrey Tortolani
  • Directors at Large: Meghan Denenberg and Joe Bono

03:30 Memorial Day Concert announced for Monday, May 27th, 6:30 pm at Christopher Columbus Park – Bryan Bishop, City of Boston Veterans Affairs

07:00 FOCCP Projects & Plans for 2013

  • 07:50 Tot Lot Cleanup
  • 11:00 Crab apple tree planting ceremony
  • 13:00 Crossroads Circle – Urban Oasis Project
  • 19:00 Harbor Sunset Cruise – Members Only
  • 20:50 4th of July Celebration – Saturday, June 29th
  • 26:20 Membership report, Palm Restaurant Members Event
  • 24:30 Sunday night movies in the park
  • 29:30 Trellis lights – possible replacement this year

32:00 Homeless at Christopher Columbus Park – Introduction by FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines

39:30 Sal LaMattina, District 1 City Councilor

43:30 Stephen Murphy, City Councilor At-Large and President

46:40 Felix Arroyo, City Councilor At-Large

51:00 Jim Greene, Director of Emergency Shelters for the City of Boston Public Health Commission

1:02:00 Public Discussion and Q&A

More information about the Friends can be found at