In Sunday’s Globe, there was a highly negative article about the quality of life in Chelsea. While the article did point out many positive construction projects in place or being built, the gist of the article was negative about our City citing household incomes, poverty rates, low education levels and the number of newly arrived immigrants into our City.
The issues that were mentioned are apparent in the everyday fabric of the City.
However, these issues are not solely in Chelsea, but also exist in many other communities in the Commonwealth and throughout the nation. For example one only has to drive 15 minutes to Harvard Square in Cambridge where homeless people and drug addicts walk the same streets as well heeled college students and professors. However, these problems are not acknowledged or addressed by these local government officials.
Chelsea has always been a Gateway Community (before that catch phrase came into being) and has always had its share of problems that come with any new wave of immigrants whether those immigrants came in the early 1890’s from Eastern Europe or Ireland or whether the immigrants have arrived from Central America in the last two decades.
Chelsea City officials and local organizations have acknowledged the problems and are implementing solutions to address them. Some of the problems are beyond the financial scope of any municipality to address such as the methadone clinic that draws more than 700 patients a day who come from many of the surrounding communities. But problems like the homeless are being addressed. Project Opening Doors will be doing a count/outreach on Tuesday. City Manager Tom Ambrosino will be offering free services in Bellingham Square along with CAPIC and Bay Cove to residents who need help.
No one can deny that we have problems, but we are not ignoring these problems either.