An extremely embarrassing problem has occurred in the North End over the past couple of months. In the attached photo from Friday morning, you can see 3 apparently homeless people sleeping in front of Haymarket MBTA station. Every morning hundreds of commuters like myself have had to step over, walk around or even step on these blanketed people in order to get into the station. Needless to say it is not a very pretty picture of this city, especially to tourists, who must think we’re all heartless and shelterless.
Last week, when I walked by, actually around them, the 3 were sitting up, one was smoking and another apparently homeless person was standing over them and smoking. I banged on the booth inside the station, which 3 MBTA employees were jammed into, and asked if they knew what was going on outside their door.
“Do you mean the homeless sleeping there?” one replied. “Oh, they’ve been doing that for a couple of months,” one said. I asked what they had done about it.
Answer: The homeless van was by to take them to a shelter but they didn’t want to go. The police came and told them to move on, but they didn’t. That’s it. Nothing else. So now 3 homeless people are apparently doing whatever they want, including sleeping wherever they want, inconveniencing people, and the City apparently CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
Here’s what I’m asking the City to do about it. Talk to whoever has jurisdiction; the MBTA Police? Please tell them in no uncertain terms that these trespassing individuals must be removed IMMEDIATELY and they must take all their refuse with them. If they refuse to totally vacate the MBTA property, THEY MUST BE ARRESTED. The area must be patrolled and if they are let out of jail, they must not return or will be held for trial. I personally will press charges.
Here’s what I will do: If I see any individuals lying there or loitering, I will immediately dial 911 and ask police to remove them. I will press charges. I will at the same time call the press.
I know that you cannot force individuals to go to a shelter. But they have no right to trespass on MBTA property, inconveniencing commuters and making our neighborhood and entire city look stupid or worse. If these individuals don’t want to go to a shelter, they have the choice of sleeping where they’re not trespassing or freezing to death! Where they sleep now is not a campground it is a public transportation facility and we weary commuters have enough trouble just trying to squeeze into packed trains. We do not need roadblocks in front of the station.
Thanks very much.
Ed: This commentary was submitted via email as a correspondence to City Hall, specifically City Councilor Sal LaMattina. It has been formatted and edited for clarity to be published here at the request of the author. Opinions are those solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NorthEndWaterfront.com or other writers on this site. NorthEndWaterfront.com welcomes commentaries on community issues via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments or responses to this commentary can be posted below in the comment section.
73 Replies to “Dealing With the Homeless at Haymarket”
“even step on” Um really???? I agree the problem needs to be addressed but I am a bit shocked that anyone would step on a homeless person because they are bothered by their presence. There can be no other reason as surely one could go around them.
The best thing for the homeless to get back on their feet is the lifeline program. Its easy to get a free phone if you sign up. As jobs for unemployed sway online, homeless are left int he dark. Everyone gets their employment online(Well not every one but you get the point). Government assistance in now available for broadband highspeed internet usage. The life line program has adapted to the new technological advances of our time. Spread the word you could help out someone in need! Source: http://www.reach-out-wireless.com
wow, your life is HARD Jim Salini. You even had to STEP OVER people who spent the night out in the freezing cold? You experience true oppression.
There but for the Grace of God go YOU.
How about a little charity. They did not sign up for homelessness.
First I want to thank Mr. Salini … at least you noticed these people where most people don’t and just step on them as you say. The solution is much more complex than a phone call to police and this is a discussion we need to have as a city. I hope you will look to be involved.
Jim Salini: You do not represent the North End! And CLEARLY you have never fallen on difficult times in your life. I suggest you try volunteering for the homeless and needy in our city. Our city has been extremely overwhelmed this year because of the cold weather causing homeless shelters to turn away folks. Do a little research next time before you write such an offensive and ignorant post.
How do you know that he hasn’t fallen up hard times in his life. You don’t know anything about him other than the fact that his article offended you.
I honestly cannot believe the “tone” of this article. Are “these people” (at least you recognize that THEY ARE PEOPLE!) that much of a nusance to your daily life that you have to sound and act so cruel toward them?
So, everytime you step out of Haymarket station, and if there is a homeless person out there, you are going to call 911 — okay, God help the person in the North End/Haymarket area who may actually NEED the assistance of the police, but are busy because the homeless are interuppting your morning commute. This is not something new. Walk along Boston area streets on State Stree, Washington Street, Park Street, the Boston Commons …. It is not only in the North End.
Maybe the solution is more shelters, because obviously the ones we have are overcrowded. Rather than make the Seaport District pretty with all the landscaping and construction of more office space, maybe we should have more people focus on our homeless population. The past few years, as I being a single mother of three children know, have been very very difficult when it came to making ends meet.
Maybe instead of complaining, you should thank God for the clothes on your back, the heat in your own home and the job you are actually going to when you step over “these people” …. You, sir, are the discrace.
Homeless shelters are not a solution. Have you been in a homeless shelter recently, Jim? The problem with society is YOU, and the people that think exactly like you. It is always someone else’s fault, there is always someone else to blame. I’m sure you make huge charitable donations to your local shelter, and volunteer your free time to help the less fortunate all the time, Jim.
Personally, I think the weekly Haymarket produce/fish market is much more of an eyesore and embarrassment to the city than the issue of the unfortunate homeless in our midst. Has anyone ever walked around there late on Friday or Saturday nights – especially after a particularly hot day?
I honestly cannot believe what I just read in this article…”Let them eat cake!”
If the worst thing about my day is that I am “inconvenienced” (to use your terminology) by having to walk around a homeless person on my way to/from work, then I would consider myself blessed. Frankly, the heartless tone of this letter is appalling. I agree that there should be a solution other than having people sleeping on the streets, but have a little more compassion. Figure out a way to deal with this other than your idea of having them arrested and prosecuted, and thank God it’s not you.
I’ve seen some pretty ignorant statements on this website before, mostly in the comments section, so that’s understandable. I cannot believe this is being posted as an article here. Please help me try to understand how this way of thinking is helpful and/or advances the discussion of a major social issue in our city towards a meaningful goal for everyone. As many above me have stated, this way of thinking (or lack of thinking) and the actions Mr. Salini claims he will take are the real issue and are so harmful to any progress that has been made to help people without homes. Really, not enough can be said to fully express how wrong, ignorant, close-minded, prejudiced, and arrogant both this letter and Mr. Salini are.
Also, probably the simplest of all answers for you, Mr. Salini, is to use the other entrance/exit to the station!
This might be the worst thing I have ever read on this website…I mean I love the arrogant tone through out the whole article god help Mr. Salini if he ever hits a rough patch. But the threat of oh I will press charges is borderline hilarious. Um buddy you don’t own the property around Haymarket so what are you going to charge them with “Being a human speed-bump” or “Ruining my view on my gorgeous walk to work”??
I can’t believe it so the homeless sleep on a sidewalk and their in front of a train station. You ll get over it ! Now one cares if you you live in a home or not. Get real !
It should be noted that Jim Salini is the “president” of NEWRA but in no way represents the true residents of the North End. Someone needs a serious dose of humility and should spend his time more wisely. Perhaps, picking up the dog excrement all over the neighborhood would be a good start.
This is one of the most heartless articles I’ve ever read on a Monday. This poor excuse for a man deserves to spend a night at the Pine Street Inn.
If you dial 911 simply to request removal of homeless people from a location, you should be arrested for improper use of the City’s emergency response line. You’re ridiculous, and obviously a little too bored with your life.
It’s really unfortunate that this article was published. The tone of the article is very elitist in its nature. Not all homeless people are homeless by choice. Are children and their parents homeless because they choose to be? I would venture to guess that as human beings we want to be somewhere warm and safe in these freezing temperatures. A warm bed and food to eat in my opinion are simple basic human rights for ALL regardless of their life’s circumstances. As mentioned in other comments, perhaps a discussion with the city on what they can do to HELP these homeless people is warranted. We need to show compassion and I thank Jesus every single day that my husband and I have the physical and emotional abilities to get up and go to work to support our family. Sometimes people that are blessed to have jobs and provide shelter and food for their loved ones take for granted what they have. Perhaps you were temporarily blinded by your rage and frustration with what you consider to be an inconvenience to your work day? The homeless around us are a reminder of what could happen to us if what we have today is one day suddenly taken away.
Heading out the door to school or university, the first people to greet me are often those at the Haymarket T entrance. Early in the morning, it’s an older African-American man extending a big smile and welcome in his pleasant, raspy voice: “Good morning, young lady!” I have been missing him lately, and really hope this means he’s someplace warm. A little later on, the guy with glasses who runs the outdoor T-shirt/souvenir stand will say, “Hi, Miss, how are you?” when I go into the subway entrance. More recently, some kids – perhaps the same ones who have been camping out – have put out a sign saying “Bad Jokes – $1”. When I told them that I would happily pay them to listen to my seven year old’s bad jokes, they smiled and told me to bring him by. These are the kinds of daily interactions I have with those at the Haymarket T. I do want my young son to be wary of people who he does not know, as I could not go to a Boston Public Library for years as a kid after some pervert followed me into the stacks at BPL Central and forced my hand on his privates. But I haven’t seen the morning regulars at the Haymarket T harass anybody (the afternoon crowd seems to be a bit more edgy and aggressive toward passer-bys, but there is often a musician or two on the scene, and certainly a lot of police). This all goes on in front of City Hall, for Heaven’s sake, for everybody one of the safest places in daytime to be.
You, Mr. Salini, are no gentleman, and your opinion most certainly does not represent this resident of the North End, nor my fellows.
My family has been in the North End since 1880, my great great grandfather was born on Endicott st. in 1890. Later bought that building. The building was taken by eminant domain, at some point. Endicott st. was shortened and taken by the city. People like Mr. Salini,thrive and profit indirectly by contributing to people with less money and less political connections. I wonder how long Mr. Salini would survive homeless on the streets of boston. No one is imune to the circumstances listed above. Karma will visit Mr. Salini, maybe someone he loves or cares about will have a drug or alcohol problem. Maybe someone he cares about will be made homeless due to the slimmy underhanded scourge of our generation; its called gentrification. Even the definition in the dictionary sounds foul. God is watching.
I’m appalled by the article and its tone as well. Even more so by the fact that it is the thinking of the president of NEWRA.
You’re going to call 911 and the press every time you’re inconvenienced by having to walk around some people trying to keep warm? I’m trying to fathom how someone literate enough to write this would have such a disconnect from reality; not just in terms of severely overreacting and tying up emergency resources, but having no compassion for their fellow man.
Until a commenter reminded me that Mr. Salini is the president of NEWRA, I had a hard time placing the name with a face. I’m glad I know exactly who it is that disgorged this heartless, callous article and I will regard his other opinions in light of the person offering them. I am very heartened that not a single commenter reacted with anything but outrage to Mr. Salini’s screed.
As a public defender, and as one of the attorneys assigned to the Homeless Court serving the homeless population of our community, I encounter the homeless and others who are excluded, including the addicted and the mentally ill. To hear Mr. Salini bring this issue down to one of esthetics and personal sensibilities just shows that one can reach physical maturity without achieving either emtional or spiritual maturity. Here’s hoping he strives for both.
Finally, I don’t have an issue with this being published. Matt Conti strives to create a journalistic meeting place for our community, and he had done a remarkable job. If he disavows Salini’s opinion, as I certainly hopes he does, he should publish a disclaimer that the writer’s opinion is his own and not shared by the site administrator.
Thanks Bill. Yes, that’s true. Every writer’s opinion is their own, not me as the site’s admin. I used to put that on each commentary and maybe should do that again though with so many contributors on the site, it hopefully is obvious. A disclaimer is also on our ‘About’ page. I did include a note indicating this was a commentary that was sent to City Hall. Our focus is always making it clear where things are coming from since the site has become as much of a bulletin board as it is to share community news.
Matt. I find the comments disturbing. Why post a thread of very negative and hateful comments? That’s my question. These people might as well form a lynch mob and go get Mr. Salini.
Hi “Marisa”, The answer to your question is the same as to that as to why we post commentaries, to allow folks to express their point of view on community issues. We do moderate comments according to our general guidelines and have blocked those that we feel crossed the line. If there is something in particular that you think we missed, please email us at email@example.com. Thanks, Matt
What happened did this man spill his overpriced latte on the way to haymarket station? Was he ” inconvienced having to walk another give steps around the unfortunate people that are destitute. Stuck out in the cold instead of a 300k+ condo or overpriced apartment in the northend. You had my ear until you became another arrogant yuppie that looks down on the less fortunate and made this entire article about your inconvience or inability to be compationate about others problems. Watch out.. Haymarket smells like rotting food in the summer you might want to start a petition to get the market removed so it doesn’t inconvience you !!!
I work in A school and there are many homeless children that attend school.. they live in shelters and for the grace of god go I..i thank god everyday I was able to provide a roof and food for my children growing up.. a little compassion goes a long way in life..homeless shelters are very dangerous people who sleep there are thieves and will steal anything from you.. maybe that is why these people rather sleep outside.. its a good thing you weren’t around the north end during the 60s and 70s when all the alcoholic homeless people slept and lived in the underpass from the north end to haymarket and it stunk like hell on a hot day.. we feel bad for this one that one but gross out on a homeless person? remember they are human also.. buy them a cup of coffee and a muffin instead of a complaint you just might feel better!
Jim Salini is the president of newra??… My family has been in this neighborhood for 100 years and I don’t even know who he is.. That’s problem number 1.. Why have someone who’s not known by a large number of north enders the president of newra?? Doesn’t make sense to me
NEWRA is a membership organization. He was elected by NEWRA’s membership. The only way you can have a say about who is elected President of NEWRA is to join the organization and vote for him or her. If you attend their public meetings (or watch the videos posted on this blog) you will “know who he is” .For NEWNC you can vote in a public election for candidates to serve on the council but the officers are voted in by the elected council members. (or watch the videos).
The fact that this was written is an embarrassment to north end people… I shouldn’t have to watch a video to know who somebody who represents my neighborhood is.. It just makes everyone who’s part of newra and the community look bad when their president does something so ignorant
Then get your head of the sand. It’s not to anyone to inform you who your representatives are. It’s up to you to find out….regardless of how long your family has been in the neighborhood.
Wow – it really makes me wish this guy were a phony and simply bating to illicit a discussion about – yes -a complex issue…but it’s clearly not…Only chest-thumping smugness all wrapped up in ugliness. Bottom line,these are fellow human beings and fellow Bostonians. Please….
The only extremely embarassing problem here is your ignorance. Imagine living in their shoes and having someone like yourself stepping over you. Try being grateful for the job your commuting to the home you live in and you do not have to be on the street in the cold. Or learning more about the less fortunate who are struggling vets or addicts. You might then have a little compassion and not embarase yourself with your foolish veiws.
At first I was appalled that an article written with such ignorance of the disparities present in every neighborhood of Boston, the North End and Waterfront included, would even be posted on this site. That was until someone mentioned the author, Jim Salini was the president of NEWRA. Is this guy really representing me and making decisions for me and my neighbors? I would expect anyone (including myself) who observes misfortune in others, not to complain about it! Not to literally persecute those with less than you, or with problems that you are lucky enough not to have. Be informed. Find out what the city and local nonprofits are doing to help. Be charitable, with your time or money. And in this particular situation figure out what we as a neighborhood can do to HELP the situation instead of attempting to criminalize it.
After reading this article, I was about to write a scathing comment but I think you guys already covered it. Good work, comment section!
“I personally will press charges.” For what? Who the hell do you think you are? For someone who thinks they’re so intelligent, you clearly have no concept on how laws or the legal system works.
This eye sore causing such a problem for you? I know how inconvenient it can be to have to walk two feet out of your way in the morning–certainly more strenuous than being on the brink of death at any given moment and trying to figure out where your next meal is going to come from. How about instead of taking to the internet to dehumanize these people and try to get them arrested, you use all of that energy and self-righteousness to actually help the homelessness problem?
How did this inconsiderate drivel even get posted on this site?
Mr. Salini I cannot believe you wrote this commentary to the city about our homeless folks! My family has lived in my neighborhood for three generations and my grandmother taught us to feed the homeless on the front stairs of our Snowhill St. home!
Thank you North End neighbors for responding so strongly to this “heartless” commentary! Shame on you Mr. S.!
You don’t speak for any of us !
I completely understand the rage expressed by everyone on this comment board. I actually had to re-read the article to see if I was missing something. Like was this guy really serious? Was this a joke? But no, he’s serious I guess.
What I really thought was comical however is the level of hypocrisy exhibited by almost everyone who was so amazed that someone could be so heartless with their words. You have no problem with the homeless in front of the T because that’s normal to you right? Right. Allowing them to listen to your 7 year old’s stories for $. Btw – Lady, are you crazy? What kind of mother are you? Don’t you realize that most of these guys have a sexual offender poster up on the Area A police station? Go there sometime and take a look at the 3 ring binder available to the public. Then let your kids sit and have play time with them.
Now if those three homeless people sat on your stoop every morning on Fulton Street, would you so love the stores they tell and greetings they have for you and your kids? Would you have such a humanitarian heart then? Didn’t think so.
JC, perhaps you should also go back and read my original post more carefully as well. I did not state that I actually had my son tell the kids at the station bad jokes. I was simply making contact, as I like to do every day, with the people I see on a frequent basis, such as neighbors, shopkeepers, hospital workers, T-employees, and others. I don’t know many of the names of these individuals, and never give out mine in casual situations, but I don’t discriminate on whom I recognize and say “hi” to. I grew up in the North End and still live very close to a subsidized housing project with its share of people in the situations that you describe. You could say, then, that the issues at Haymarket are already at my front door, and I have no illusions about that. Judging from the content of you posting, you presume to know something about me. Not much, however, if you have the nerve to call me a “hypocrite” on urban poverty. Those who actually know me as a person would find this absurd – and I don’t need to go into details as to why – so, as we say in the North End, just shut the f—up when you don’t know what (or whom) you are talking about.
I think I know enough of what I’m talking about to make that statement Jessica. Growing up in the city, I see plenty of people that like to treat the homeless like animals at a petting zoo. Maybe you’re not like that, congrats. Maybe I was a little overzealous in my post, I’ll concede that much. But if you dont see the hypocrisy in 90% of the comments on this post, then I can’t help you. Continue having playtime with those who leave those said needles on North Margin Street. Who am I to judge? I just live here.
JC, how can you even state that those of us that have commented are hypocrites? You DON’T know how we have lived our lives and perhaps what some of us have done to volunteer our time with organizations that help those in need like the homeless. You are making a very general broad accusation of hypocrisy without knowing who some of us are. You have NO idea that some of us work two jobs and also find time to volunteer. Your general statement is actually very ignorant because of the assumptions you are making.
Susan, I am 100% making a very broad statement regarding hypocrisy in these comments. My point is this, we all have compassion from afar. Most good people do their best to either give to charity or volunteer, or something. But we all have a little more compassion when a situation like this is not directly on their doorstep. And I mean literally on their doorstep. I already made the mistake of questioning Jessica’s parenting skills, my bad, my apologies. But I’m going to guess that if those three homeless were camping out every morning on your front steps, it might be a different story. As someone with kids, it would be for me. Many people on this post couldn’t believe it was such an inconvenience to step over them as you enter the station. Well, what if you had to step over them while they sat, or slept on your steps? Or if they hung out there smoking? Before you just disregard that scenario, think about it. You could ask them nicely to leave, but what if they don’t? Ever seen the bums take a drunken bath in the fountain at Columbus Park? Ever seen them drop their pants, take a swig of whatever, and proceed to f-bomb at the top of their lungs? Not a huge problem is it? Or maybe it is. But in front of Haymarket? Not so bad, that’s normal if you live in the city. But not in front of your condo. Tell me I’m wrong. I doubt I am. So before you just take the easy high road and demonize this guy, think about what you would do if they were camped on your lawn.
And I don’t like using vulgar language, but lost it when it was implied that I was intentionally putting my son into some sort of danger! I’d just clarify that the North End drug/needle problem is also very much a “native” problem – caused by kids growing up here or now living here at a fixed address, i.e. not just the homeless. I’m sorry to say that it’s been that way for a long, long time, and conditions how one raises a family in this neighborhood. The Boston Latin School legend of having students sit in the assembly hall and “look to the left of you and look to the right of you because one of you won’t be here next year,” could be modified, thanks to drugs, to describe what it was like growing up in the North End when I was a kid (1980’s): “one of you won’t be alive.”
I am not sure I have ever seen or heard such an outright lack of compassion as was expressed in Mr. Salini’s article. The people Mr. Salini encountered at Haymarket are individuals with stories and rights that are as valid as anyone else’s.
The circumstances that result in homelessness can happen to anyone, including Mr, Salini and all of us commenting on his article. Stop and think for a moment what would happen if you lost your job, could not find another one, and were hit with unexpected expenses. All of us who have a home and a job and a commute to work are lucky and should not take that for granted. None of us is any better than anyone else. And most of us don’t help our neighbors (and I include the homeless amongst our neighbors) nearly as much as we should What we should all take away from Mr. Salini’s article, and the differing viewpoints expressed above, is that we should all make a bigger effort to be compassionate and generous to those who need help, for whatever reason.
Mr. Salini’s article is clearly not representative of the North End community. I find it extremely troublesome that anyone, let alone anyone in a position of public responsibility such as the president of NEWRA, could suggest such a destructive manner of dealing with the issue of homelessness. We need to be able to trust those who represent us to act in a balanced, thoughtful and proactive manner. I see nothing constructive at all in Mr. Salini’s article or approach. I expect better from those who represent me and my neighborhood (I have lived in the North End for more than 15 years) in both elected and other representative capacities.
I realize that every person has a right to his or her opinion. NorthEndWaterfrom.com makes decisions in determining what articles and editorials it will publish. I sincerely hope that the publication sees fit to explore the issue of homelessness in our neighborhood and the City and more thoughtful and proactive approaches that were expressed by Mr. Salini. At the moment, however, I’d prefer to be reading Spare Change News.
I am completely appalled at this article and embarrassed that it purports to represent my neighborhood. As a resident of the North End, I love getting my news from NorthEndWaterfront.com and was happy to see that Mr. Conti was able to attract a second writer. Now, after reading this article, I hope Mr. Conti will immediately issue an apology for poor judgement in allowing this to be published. I will not be getting my news from this website, and know that my fellow North End-ers will not either. Our neighborhood was founded by our immigrant ancestors who surely knew hard times and homelessness and depended on the support of their community for survival. If condemnation like this had happened back then, where would we & our neighborhood be now? I hope that the homeless in our city our city know that this article does not represent the majority of our neighborhood. I’m outraged and saddened that people will read this and associate it with the North End.
Lauren, The opinions expressed in individual commentaries do not reflect the views of NorthEndWaterfront.com, me or any other writers on this site. Authors are accountable for their own words. Mr. Salini is not a “second writer” for this website.
As for its inclusion, we think of commentaries as Op-Ed pieces in newspapers or other online publications. We’ve all read opinion pieces that we disagreed with or even offended us. NorthEndWaterfront.com has published hundreds of opinion pieces over the years on community affairs, often covering controversial issues.
We also offer open comments which is why yours is now also posted here. As with any publication, it is the “whole” that makes it what it is, comments and all.
I do this website in my spare time and support several other news outlets by sharing our original content on a gratis basis.
I hope you find what you are looking for.
Lauren: it’s called free speech and Mr. Conti is just the messenger. You should be upset with Jim Salini who is your representative for the North End. Salini should be the one to apologize here. And instead of boycotting this publication, do something to help! Go to the next NEWRA meeting. They are the second Thursday of the month (the details on their site at newra.org). Express your disgust to Salini directly and work to get him removed from his position.
So sad to see this picture of three homeless people huddled together to keep warm. This has been the coldest winter which makes it much worse .Think of these three unfortunate human beings when having a bad day.
Wow. I’m really sorry you feel this way. I thought this post was a joke most of the way through reading it. I honestly didn’t think people in Boston still actually thought like that. We’re better than that…actually we KNOW better than that. Sounds like this is an opportunity for personal growth and understanding. Great link here that may help –> “The power of empathy” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw
billions for every other country using taxpayer dollars help the homeless in america
Dear RG, thanks for info on “The power of empathy”. I enjoyed the video. Always looking for ways to become a better person in a troubled world.
You’re welcome, Joyce. I can relate. I thought it was simple yet poignant for this topic. Dr Brené Brown does a great job! http://www.upworthy.com/ is another great resource.
I agree we should all be thankful for what we have and not cast stones since we never know what the future holds for us. I was shocked at the comments regarding the homeless. They are callous and outright cruel remarks about people who often are mentally impaired and are unable to help themselves. Government I think by cutting the programs that were in place to help them with basic needs such as housing and food has turned its back on a group of our most vulnerable population.
Why not everyone take a look at themselves and ask, “What am I doing to help the homeless people of the City of Boston?” Why wait for someone else or the government to step up to help? You pass these people everyday on the streets. Do you stop and give them food or money or do you just walk by and be glad that it isn’t you in their place?
Mr. Conti you were right on printing this article on homelessness. Makes many, myself included, to be reminded of everything we have that could, by a turn of fate, be taken away. Yes, not everyone is going to like everything that is printed that’s life. Sounds like some are more worried how they are perceived residing in the NE than the issue of homelessness. I believe most of us appreciate the time and effort you put into the writing of the Newsletter.
Eckhart Tolle would share the following:
Compassion is the awareness of a deep bond between yourself and ALL creatures. But there are two sides to compassion, two sides to this bond. On the one hand, since you are still here as a physical body, you share the vulnerability and mortality of your physical form with every other human and with every living being. Next time you say “I have nothing in common with this person,” remember that you have a great deal in common: A few years from now — two years or seventy years, it doesn’t make much difference– both of you will have become rotting corpses, then piles of dust, then nothing at all. This is a sobering and humbling realization that leaves little room for pride. Is this a negative thought? No, it is a fact. Why close your eyes to it? In that sense, there is total equality between you and every other creature. Compassion Love & Empathy as an ‘lift’ from all the bad, unsettling and upsetting feeling and verbiage………
Jim – how about doing the human thing and offering these folks a simple cup of coffee? What an absolutely pompous and arrogant attitude you have. I’m ashamed that I ever supported NEWRA, and until you are not longer a part of it from this day forward NEWRA has lost my support. What’s “extremely embarrassing” is that I have to share the neighborhood with people like you.
This is not MBTA property, nor the responsiblity of the Transit Police. The Haymarket busway is “owned” by the city of Boston, not the Authority, and therefore the responsibility of the Boston Police (this is not the same for all stations). Unfortunately, for that reason these people are not trespassing and therefore, cannot be trespassed. There is no disagreement that this is an issue that needs to be resolved.
We understand your frustration. It is disappointing to see our beautiful city be less than we know it can be. None of us know the troubles that others, like the homeless you have referenced, have experienced – many previous commenters have observed this point. There is no easy “fix” here. However, the critiques of your editorial in no way diminish your engagement and contributions to our community! Thank you for your hard work. The people who care about this neighborhood are familiar with your efforts on behalf of the North End!
it’s people like you that make this world a less beautiful place to live. You remind of of some of the spoiled little divas that went to my old school, B.C. High. Most were “men for others” and genuinely cared for people, yet others were, like you, cold and ignorant because of a silver spoon-fed upbringing. I for one agree that something needs to be done but the only person deserving of being thrown in jail with charges pressed against them is you. If stepping around a homeless person is the highlight of your misery then you deserve far worse. You can honestly find no better solution than to waste the transit police time by having them arrest these poor souls who’ve done nothing more than maybe make some poor choices? On top of that press charges and set trials?! Hell why not burn em at stake it’d save time and money, ensuring that your pampered feet never have to walk an extra 2.7 steps again. Take a look at states fighting the homeless problem and you’ll realize what the far and away better and more affordable options are. You sir, are an idiot so trapped in your perceived “poor me” attitude that you could never in your life fathom how hard it is to be alone and homeless. Yet on top of their physical suffering you feel the need to crush any remaining pride and self worth out of them.
You’re right, there is “An extremely embarrassing problem” in the North End, but it has nothing to do with the homeless outside of Haymarket. One solution to this problem is to take Dear Abby’s advice to someone who wrote her about some neighbors that the writer thought were “undesirable” and asked her for some tips on how to counter the so-called undesirables in the neighborhood: You could move.
“Why not everyone take a look at themselves and ask, “What am I doing to help the homeless people of the City of Boston?” Why wait for someone else or the government to step up to help? You pass these people everyday on the streets. Do you stop and give them food or money or do you just walk by and be glad that it isn’t you in their place?”
The fact that this post got as many down votes as up says a lot about the mentality with some of you here…shameful. Like I said, sympathy and compassion from a safe distance, but not when it’s up to you, (And before anyone rails on this post for being too ‘broad’, here’s the disclaimer: Not all of you are like this, but clearly 10 of you are)
JC, I understand some of the points that you’re making but you can’t make broad assumptions here about everyone that has posted their feelings towards what I mentioned here before to be in my opinion a very elitist article. I think what Mr. Salini should have done was to type out his feelings about his encounter on his computer and then delete the file. Seems to me the way it was written was a reaction to what he was feeling at that moment and we all have been in a situation where rage has encompassed our very being and want to explode in some manner but doing it publicly obviously was not a smart decision on his part. So I want to tell you my story. I was raised in a VERY physical and emotional abusive environment with an alcoholic father. I spent every single day of my life until the age of 23 years old being physically and emotionally beat up by someone that should have embraced me with love. Growing up I spent several nights going to bed hungry and cold because my father had spent the money he earned drinking and gambling it away with no regard for his children. My parents were Italian immigrants and spoke little English. My father was “self-employed” as a mason getting jobs here and there. My mom worked as a seamstress at the old Vermont building to help feed, clothe and shelter her 4 children. My earliest memory of my father’s abuse was when I was 5 years old and witnessed him hurting my mom that he split her head open. I can tell you to this day what I was wearing because that memory is still so very vivid in my mind. I can’t tell you what I had for lunch yesterday but I can recount many memories of my horrible childhood. The point that I am trying to make here is having endured what I have as a child, I could have easily ended up on the streets and in trouble. Instead what I did was worked 3 jobs to put myself through college because I was determined to never have my future child go to bed hungry or cold because of no money for food or heat. I worked 2 jobs to buy my home and am proud of what I have accomplished so far because I earned 4 college degrees and I now own two very successful businesses. I have worked hard for I have accomplished and I continue to work hard because in the back of my mind I know that it all can be easily taken away. I am an example of someone that took very negative circumstances and turned them into something very positive. However, there are other people out there that have not been able to set their demons aside and live life the way I have and this is why we must have compassion. Do you ever stop to think why they are homeless? Do you ever stop to think why some people abuse alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, shopping etc? For a very long time I HATED my father because I always thought he could have easily stop his drinking but I found out after he died from his alcoholism why he became an alcoholic. Turns out that as a 13 year old boy he was abused by a priest in his home town in Italy that he turned around and punched that priest in the face. In turn his parents turned their back on him and placed him in a reformatory school where I can only imagine that the abuse continued. Have you ever seen the movie Sleepers? I am not making excuses for his alcoholism but I now know why he drank. He was trying to suppress his pain and alcohol was his medication. My father was old school never believed I’m sure in therapy which is unfortunate. He tried on a couple of occasions to stop his drinking but it never lasted. Looking back at what I endured as I child I could have been an alcoholic, a drug or food addict etc …but I thank Jesus every single day of my life that he has given me the physical and emotional abilities to get up and go to work. I probably could have scammed the welfare system and claimed that I was “emotionally” not able to go to work etc but I am not that person nor will I ever be that person. I LOVE getting up every day for work. I created what I have with no help from anyone. My life experiences so far has taught me to have compassion for those in need which drives my volunteer efforts. I have given my time and money to help those in need because I am grateful for what I have and know what I could have been if I wasn’t able to set my demons aside. You know my life isn’t perfect and sometimes I cry to myself when I have flashbacks of my childhood but as a crazy as it sounds I am grateful that I grew up the way I did because it has made me a stronger person. I am a survivor. So I ask you to please have compassion for those less fortunate than you and I because you don’t know their story. Thank you.
You are an entitled wanker who lives in a bubble. Most of your kind are the undesirables in the NE. Try walking a day in a homeless person’s shoes. Many never had a chance to succeed in life since the day they were born due to the environment they were raised in. When you are dealing with mental illness, addiction among a host of other physical and psychological problems you are not living yet only existing. Most need somebody to take them by the hand and guide them. There are not enough services to deal with the problem. Why don’t you do something positive and work with shelters, clinics, programs and maybe even volunteer yourself before you excuse these people out of your life. I think you may learn a thing or two about humility if you stopped to help one of them no step over them or have them arrested. You would be touched if you could hear some of their stories. I stop all the time and actually acknowledge their suffering and ask how I can help. You are clueless and you are the North End / Waterfront Residents Association’s President? Sad.
Have you really ever tried to take one of these guy’s hand and guide them?
I would like to play devils advocate for a minute… believe it or not some homeless people only have pride left.. a couple of summers ago I was at the beach and went to use the ladies room..there was a woman there with all her belongings in a stop n shop cart she was washing her clothes in the sink ..it was hot ..muggy and she smelled really bad.. people were giving her dirty looks ..looking at her in disgust.. I went back and sat with my friends told them between us we had 29 dollars ..I went back in the bath house figured id give it to her 29 bucks she could of ate well at the beach .. she started swearing ar me tried to hit me screaming AT ME.. so I left.. if im at dunkin donuts the mall or somewere and there seems to be a down on their luck person I just get them something to eat and leave.. im sure its appreciated.. I cant save the homeless population but I try to help out.. pride might be the only thing they have left..
I have been monitoring this thread since the article was posted, and I expected some sort of response from Mr. Salini to come at any moment. I’m disappointed by his silence (although the “JES” signature on a post clarifying NEWRA’s election policy matches his first and last initials). I would like to hear him clarify his thinking, if he thinks we misinterpreted him. I would also be interested to hear if he has been swayed by the outrage that greeted his post. That would be heartening and redemptive, at least to me. But for him to stay silent in the face of these attacks on his philosophy and his character is puzzling.
No Bill Lane I am not Jim Salini. I was just trying to explain to Mike how the neighborhood groups operate since he obviously has no idea and does not appear to care. I don’t think that Jim Salini explaining his thinking will change anyone’s mind (other than yours) about him and this crazy rant he sent to Sal LaMattina and then to Matt Conti for publication here. Personally, the only post from Jim Salini that I want to see here is that he has resigned as President of NEWRA.
JES, “redemptive” isn’t the same as changing my mind. I agree that Mr. Salini’s resignation from a position of leadership in our community is appropriate. As a former multi-term NEWNC councilor, I would not want the kind of corrosive presence on NEWNC that Mr. Salini brings to the leadership of NEWRA.
And as a public defender, whose clientele comprises a substantial percentage of homeless and mentally ill – the two conditions are significantly intertwined – Mr. Salini’s explanations will never change my mind. But leaders need to be accountable to their communities, and accountability includes standing up and either admitting one’s mistakes or standing behind their original stance. Mr. Salini hasn’t done either yet. It seems obvious that he won’t.
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