From the Boston Globe: Fighting homelessness, and ‘not in my backyard’

By Shirley Leung Globe Columnist, Updated December 7, 2022

“…St. Francis, which provides homelessness services, and the Planning Office, which has built over 3,000 affordable housing units, have been meeting with Charlestown residents since the summer. They’re still in early stages and say they want to work with the community to shape the project. But as in Dorchester, neighbors have been wary. Rumors have been rampant on how the Constitution Inn could become a homeless shelter, a drug treatment center, and house low-level sex offenders.

None of that is happening.

“This is not a treatment program, not a rehab program, not a recovery home,” said Karen LaFrazia, president of St. Francis House. “This is an apartment building and to ensure successful tenancies we will have staff on site 24/7 to provide support services to residents.”

The YMCA operates the Constitution Inn, along with a fitness center, on land leased from the Boston Planning & Development Agency. For nearly three decades, the YMCA ran a private transitional housing program for women and children out of the building on Third Avenue. In 2019, the nonprofit decided that operating the hotel was out of its area of expertise and put the property up for sale, though the YMCA plans to stay in Charlestown at another location.”

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