FOCCP Want Homeless Issue Dealt With

FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines prepares for the meeting.

FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines prepares for the meeting.

A 30 year old homeless person was apparently pushed into the harbor in Christopher Columbus Park (April 24) following an alleged argument with another homeless person and subsequently died.

Boston Police responded to the site just after noontime and did everything possible according to witnesses. Police are apparently conducting a death investigation.

The incident was briefly discussed at the annual Friends of Columbus Park meeting held last week at the Pilot House.

“The City has to take more responsibility for safety in our parks,” FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines said. “Our members are very concerned, especially about the safety of the children that use the playground where homeless people were often sleeping last summer leaving behind unsanitary and dangerous items,” she added.

Boston City Councilors Sal LaMattina, Steven Murphy and Felix Arroyo attended the meeting and supported residents’ request to have Boston Police check the tot lot at dawn and at dusk.

They also supported the idea of placing a bigger fence around the play area and having someone open the park in the early morning and closing it at night.

Councilor LaMattina said he would set-up a meeting with District A-1 Boston Police Captain Thomas Lee and Sergeant Tom Lema to discuss patrolling the park. He added that he would like to establish a public hearing at the City Council to address the idea of fencing off and locking tot lots throughout the city.

Due to several incidents that have occurred in the park, some residents claim they don’t bring their children there.

While most residents like the detail and fencing ideas, they wanted to know, “What do we do tomorrow?”

Several reports were presented on past and future activities in the park.

FOCCP also elected its officers at the public meeting. Elected were: President Joanne Hayes-Rines, Vice President Ann Babbit, Treasurer Virginia Kimball, Clerk Audrey Torolani, Directors At Large Meghan Denenberg and Joe Bono.

The next FOCCP monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 11 at 6:30pm in the Mariners House, 11 North Square.

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