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Migrant shelter plan for one of Boston's most expensive neighborhoods making some furious

Fort Point residents voice concerns over migrant shelter at meeting
Fort Point residents voice concerns over migrant shelter at meeting 02:22

BOSTON - Some residents of Fort Point in the Seaport are outraged about a plan to open an emergency overflow shelter for migrants in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston.

They were angry and frustrated at a community meeting Tuesday night because they didn't get a lot of answers.

"How is it a done deal when you cannot answer these questions," a resident said at the meeting.

Fuming neighbors grilled state officials about the 80 migrants who will call 24 Farnsworth Street a temporary home. The office space owned by the Unitarian Universalist Association will be turned into the latest overflow shelter. In January, the Cass Recreational Complex in Roxbury was flipped from a community center to a shelter.

Safety and security, location and facilities topping the concerns in Fort Point. 

Fort Point potential shelter
An emergency shelter will be opening at 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood CBS Boston

"How are you going to ensure we're safe?" one woman asked.

"I would like to see a little bit more compassion, that's my point of view," another man added.

Neighbors like Brian Curley say the community didn't have a voice before the decision was made. "I think there's a lot of angry residents who feel the same way I do that this was being forced on us," Curley told WBZ-TV.

General Scott Rice, who's overseeing the state's strained shelter system, vowed security for families living in the shelter and neighbors in the community.

"Our track record has been very good," Rice said. "We've had very, very, very few incidents."

United Way is the non-profit that will run the shelter. Neighbors are worried about no showers on site and a plan to bus migrants to local YMCAs for services. Though United Way leaders say there will be at least six bathrooms in the space.

"We certainly would not put anybody in a space that has anything unsafe for them," said Christi Staples of the United Way.

State officials say there will be another meeting on Friday where they hope to have more answers about the emergency shelter.

"There was a lot of questions tonight, there were not a lot of answers," Curley said.  

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