Boston University will join Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Project Place in an effort to improve Lower Roxbury and South Boston neighborhoods around BU’s Medical Campus, according to a Monday press release.
The coalition will focus their efforts around the Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue intersection, according to the release, sending out cleaning crews five days a week led by Project Place, a nonprofit dedicated to providing employment opportunities for low income and homeless population.
BU immediately stepped up to join the beautification efforts in an attempt to create a safer neighborhood surrounding its Medical Campus, according to the release.
BU spokesperson Colin Riley said the university is looking forward to beginning the partnership and addressing issues in the neighborhood near the Medical Campus.
“We were pleased to join the city and Project Place in partnering with them,” he said.
Riley emphasized the importance of thinking of the project as a public safety initiative in addition to a plan for beautification.
“It wasn’t just a simple issue of just improving the aesthetics, it’s an issue of addressing the bigger issues, the quality of life issues there, the fact that people are battling addiction,” he said. “There are people there who are homeless, and this is an initiative that will hopefully be able to approach it from a number of different ways.”
BU recognizes homelessness as a problem in the Medical Campus neighborhood, according to Riley, and hopes Project Place and Walsh’s ongoing improvement efforts will be able to help provide a solution.
“Project Place is one of those programs that can facilitate the transition from homelessness and from addiction to help people out of those behaviors … and also put a roof over their heads and help them transition back to healthy, productive lives,” he said.
Ellie French contributed to the reporting of this article.