Oct 8th: Long Island Bridge Closure Anniversary – Day of ACTION and OBSERVANCE

11012359_409221425951136_6946310304471829863_oWe are coming up on a year since Mayor Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission condemned the bridge leading to Long Island, hastily shuttering the city’s largest homeless shelter and several vital stabilization and recovery programs for those seeking treatment for addiction. Since then, little has been done in the way of meaningful action from the city of Boston to remedy the harm they caused in closing the Island in such a haphazard manor. A new men ‘s shelter was erected on Southampton Street, but still does not meet the demand. Woods Mullen has been transitioned into a female-only shelter, and also does not meet the demand for beds and it’s conditions are less than adequate. We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic, which has been deemed a State of Emergency in MA since March of 2014, yet the City of Boston and State of MA haven’t replaced vital treatment programs that had been sited on the Island.

Please join us on Thursday October 8th (Facebook Event) to acknowledge the harm and hardship caused by the closure of Long Island, the lives of those individuals who were impacted and demand action from the city and state.

9:30AM Rally & Speak Out at City Hall

Demands:
Housing NOT Warehousing!
-Affirm that all people have a right to housing and a right to the city
-Increase subsidized permanent housing & rental vouchers including a city funded voucher program

Treat People Experiencing Homelessness with Dignity & Respect
-Increase shelter beds now!
-End criminalization of homelessness in public spaces and shelters
-Fully upgrade all shelter & recovery programs
-Ensure a dignified process for entry & welcoming shelter guests
-Provide adequate & equal access to women who are homeless
-Overhaul shelter disciplinary process with transparency & uniformity to ensure people’s rights
-Guarantee resident’s right to organize and assert their rights without punishment or retaliation
-Provide a clear & open line of communication with the City of Boston Homeless Services

Restore Lost & Increase Treatment Beds NOW!
-Stabilization and recovery beds are needed to address the opioid crisis and provide folks seeking treatment with meaningful solutions on demand. Whether on Long Island, or elsewhere treatment beds are needed NOW!

11:00AM Observance at Church on the Hill Sanctuary
(This location is accessible for folks with mobility impairments, including those who use wheelchairs. We are currently working to make this event accessible for all.)

-Program includes a key note address by Dr. Peniel Joseph; American historian, founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University, founder of the “Black Power Studies” subfield of American History and American Civil Rights History and Tufts Professor.

12:00PM Rally & Speak Out at the State House

Demands:
-1,047 individuals lost their lives to unintentional opioid-related overdoses in 2014. With vital treatment beds and programs lost, this number is not decreasing.
Treatment beds NOW!

We will be marching from one location to the next:  join us at any point! Church on the Hill is BHSC will be hosting a community lunch to follow our final stop.

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