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Boston police pass out cold weather gear, talk with homeless or those suffering from addiction

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In an effort to help the homeless and those suffering from addiction, Boston police’s Street Outreach Team visited the area around Southampton Street and Massachusetts Avenue on Monday with cold weather gear and coffee.

Much of the time was spent passing out cold weather gear, like hats and blankets, but officers also spoke with people there about available services. Members of the city’s Public Health Commission, plus Hope House Treatment Program, Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, and City on a Hill Church also worked with police, according to a news release.

“When they see the members of the Street Outreach Unit, they know we’re there to help,” Deputy Superintendent Michael Stratton said in the release. “We’ve been out there enough where they know who we are and trust our intentions. Today, we spent the majority of the time passing out cold weather clothing like hats, scarves, socks and blankets. We also provided hot coffee. But, just as importantly, we’re there to share information about the treatment options and resources available to those who need the help.” 

The unit’s efforts complement those of organizations like Pine Street Inn, which has been working with the homeless population for the past 50 years.

“In particular, knowing that we are coming into a couple of very cold days, we are keeping our shelters open around the clock and we are encouraging men and women to come inside and stay inside where it’s safe and warm,” she told Boston.com prior to last week’s cold snap. “That’s kind of our winter protocol.”

Members of the #BPD’s Street Outreach Team were out in full force today around Southampton St/Mass Ave passing out cold weather essentials like hats, scarves, socks and blankets in an effort to help those caught up in the throes of either substance abuse or homelessness. pic.twitter.com/17SoYh2sAV

— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) November 19, 2019

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