Soft Spoken but Fierce: Tara at The State of the City Rally!

Check out BHSC’s Tara and her speech at the recent Boston People’s State of the City Rally (posted below or on You Tube). It was freezing cold but our Tara tells it like it is! She may be soft spoken but she is fierce. Go Tara!

“Three months after the abrupt closure of the bridge to Long Island forced the evacuation of the Long Island Shelter and drug treatment programs, the Mayor has finally begun to open the new shelter on Southampton Street.

Finally, some progress is being made, but the problem of homelessness is far from being solved! Treatment beds remain missing and people are dying. We need to keep the pressure on to continue making progress towards ending homelessness in Boston.

The Mayor promises more services at the new shelter and we need to hold him to this promise. We need our treatment beds back. We need better conditions and to be treated with dignity and respect. We need hope and a way out of homelessness. The current shelter system simply perpetuates the problem.

People are homeless for many different reasons, which must be specifically addressed not just lumped into one category – “homeless”. We are people beyond the label ‘homeless’ and should be treated as such.

Homelessness will NOT go away on its own. The problem is only growing greater.

We need more low-income housing, not luxury housing. Rents are too high in Boston and the surrounding area. More and more people are being pushed to the verge of homelessness. Shelters and motels are not homes! We need housing!

We have taken 12 steps backwards and 2 steps forward. We must acknowledge the progress, but keep the pressure on to keep moving forward.

In regards to the shelter situation, Felix Arroyo, the city’s Chief of Health and Human Services, was recently quoted as saying, “We are in an emergency – a crisis state. ”We must keep the politicians focused on the issue and hold them accountable.

Shelters are not homes. We need housing NOW!”

 

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