Donations Will Be Redirected For Springside Park Homeless
The Parks Commission approved a draft statement on Tuesday that would redirect donations for the homeless in Springside Park toward service providers.
Iberkshires.com reports that the commission voted to eliminate onsite donations at the Springside Avenue pavilion effective Aug. 24.
Parks and Open Space Manager James McGrath said.
I will be the first to admit that this community has been so gracious, so kind, and has really mobilized around this issue, To the point of almost too many donations, and there are issues around this goodwill gesture. That part of the park is really not designed to be used that way, and it is really becoming problematic
The homeless will be allowed continued use of the park, McGrath asked Tuesday to limit the use of the Springside Avenue pavilion that has become a makeshift donation drop-off area.
McGrath agreed and said donations come in the form of supplies, gift cards, and food. They are dropped off on picnic tables under the pavilion, and anyone and everyone are able to sort through the selection.
The city and service providers would prefer to direct donations through ServiceNet, which can distribute properly. Also, McGrath saw an opportunity to inform the homeless population of opportunities throughout the city such as food sites and other resources. And that it could be accomplished with a bulletin board.
The commissioners agreed to allow the pavilion to be used until Aug. 31 was too long and set a new sunset date of Aug. 24. They also agreed to strike language that would limit gathering at the pavilion.
McGrath added that there are about a dozen people living in the park, mostly north of the pond, but it was at one point around 50. He said he expects the number to continue to drop as summer moves into fall.
The commissioners all agreed that the park is not a permanent solution for the homeless.