A number of homeless shelters and the methadone clinics line the streets. Police typically respond to violent crimes and overdoses in the area but on Thursday, a Suffolk County House of Corrections Officer said he attacked there while on his way to work. Fiandaca said police have a tough time handling methadone mile because the situation is complex. According to Boston Crime Incident Reports , there have been medical or drug-related calls in methadone mile area this year. In , there were reports total. In , there were Al Raskin was once a client at the nearby clinics and homeless shelter.
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Methadone clinics sit nearby, clashing with what many describe as an open-air drug market. Residents, desperate for a solution, say their calls for help are now being met with clear answers in the city's immediate plan to move forward. Marty Martinez, Chief of Health and Human Services, says a person task force is being created, including business leaders, community leaders and health care providers who will meet monthly to update progress.
Up and down Melnea Cass, countless people panhandle drivers for change as they saunter between cars. Needles line the streets. Addicts cook heroin and shoot up in plain sight. They do not even try to hide it.
Fifty-year-old Vinny Pardini says the three methadone clinics, the homeless shelters and the drug treatment programs in the area have made it a hub of drug activity. I see it every single day. Which makes it hard for Pardini, who has struggled with heroin use and lives at the recovery program in the neighborhood called Hope House. The residents call the street behind the house "needle street" because it's littered with the residue of drug use. As Pardini walks down the street, he explains the debris along the pavement. That's an empty heroin bag right there," Pardini says, while warning me to avoid the discarded needles at our feet. They seem unfazed that we're walking by. He checks on a man sleeping on cardboard at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.