Hiding the Problem

Once again the Boston Marathon is upon us, and so is another tradition: pushing the homeless out of the marathon area. It happens every year. Homeless folks are sent packing while tourists, politicians, and runners travel back and forth around the area. Barriers are put up around the public library where the homeless sit, where many charge their phones, and where some organizations set up to serve them food. Even the park across the street is empty.

One morning recently as I made my way through Copley Square I counted zero homeless in the area. Is this something new? Many will say it’s because of the bombing a few years ago, so this is for security. No it’s not, this has been the case for quite a while, going back to the days when I myself lived on the street. It has nothing to do with security concerns. Like many big cities, Boston likes to try and hide its homelessness problem, especially during tourist season.

God forbid if the so-called most liberal city in America shows that it has a homeless problem, and so around this time every year there is an effort to hide it, not only during marathon month but also during many of the summer celebrations around Boston, and where exactly do they push the homeless out to? Pretty much anywhere but here, and the further out the better. Especially if it’s out of town.

All the better if it’s, let’s say a Cambridge problem or a Malden problem or even further out, Lynn, Lowell, you get the drift. As long as it isn’t a Boston problem. Now of course some city officials will read this and claim I don’t know what I’m talking about which is pretty much par for the course when actual homeless activists say anything in their favor especially when said activist is formerly homeless.

To that I say go see for yourself, go to Copley before or after the marathon. You can ask my friend, Dan, an activist who provides food for the homeless every single night. Then call them all out and ask, “If you’re trying to help house the homeless, why hide them? Or try to?”

It’s wrong, They’re not thinking about human beings when they hide the homeless. It’s about capitalism, it’s not about anything more than that. By hiding poverty their twisted thinking is that rich tourists will spend more money. It’s the system folks and this is how it works.

James Shearer

James Shearer is a writer and co-founder of Spare Change News.

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