By Meera Raman
Boston University News Service
BOSTON — Mayor Michelle Wu paused the removal of homeless people and their encampments at Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard in one of her first acts in office.
“Every day that goes by, temperatures are colder and colder and it is life or death for our residents who are unhoused and living on the street,” Wu said during a press conference Wednesday.
The area known as Mass. and Cass, sitting between Roxbury and the South End, housed a number of people experiencing homelessness or struggling with addiction, swelling in number after a treatment center on Long Island shut down in 2014.
The encampment had grown over the last several months, leading to city officials ordering those encamped in the area to clear out by Nov. 1.
The mayor’s pause comes in the wake of pending results of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Massachusetts, asserting that the city must find viable alternative housing before evicting people.
Wu also discussed her first actions toward campaign promises to improve Boston Public Schools.
In discussing school committee members, Wu said she is hoping to have multilingual outreach in the decision-making process and have community discussions about choices being made in schools.
The mayor is also in discussion with Superintendent Brenda Cassellius and the Chair of the School Committee Jeri Robinson to move toward community engagement, accessibility, and pandemic recovery.
Wu has changed the tides as she was sworn in on Tuesday as Boston’s first woman and first person of color elected mayor in the city’s history. A full inauguration is scheduled for January.