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. The new plan will be dealing with the issues surrounding the neighborhood's current quality of life while strengthening communication, coordination and alignment of services. Ave 2. According to Martinez, the city will begin collecting and compiling data in one central place, a dashboard which will be posted to the city's website every month, allowing the public to stay up to date with the latest developments in the area. Martinez says that, while the community is right in pushing city officials to do something about this , they likely aren't seeing the average of about 80 people in the neighborhood who are admitted into treatment facilities every month. The plan also addresses a goal of increasing that number and getting more needle exchange programs up and running at locations outside the South End.
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Part of the plan is to boost resources in the area to help addicts seeking treatment, while also removing more needles from city streets. Residents will see more police officers, as well as new light fixtures. The area was in the spotlight over the summer after an attack on a corrections officer was caught on video. Mayor Marty Walsh said the city is committed to doing everything possible to deal with the drug crisis.
The public outcry for solutions to the drug abuse and homelessness in the area spiked in early August, after a Suffolk County corrections officer was beaten by a group of men as he was arriving at work. After two months of not providing specifics about how he would address the problems in the area, Walsh unveiled his plan on Oct. Following the attack on the corrections officer, Roselle Virula, manager of the Golden Nozzle Car Wash in the South End, told the Herald that she was fed up with being in danger due to all the crime and drug abuse going on around her.
People emerge from shelters and halfway houses and trudge toward the methadone clinics that lend this place its ugly nickname. An open-air drug market is in full swing on the corner outside a convenience store, where offers of drugs trill like music. A man grimaces one chilly morning, unsteady on his feet.