Upham's Corner Online

St. Kevin's offers Beds for the Homeless - Open Air Fresh and Cardboard Comfort

Posted: May 3, 2012     Nancy J Conrad

Upham's Corner Main Street and the Department of Neighborhood Services coordinated a concerted effort to comply with the spirit of Boston Shines April 27-28.  Max MacCarthy and his UCMS crew painted several stores and filled in tree pits with mulch. But at sites where at least some attempt at cleaning up had been orchestrated, not all buildings came through with filying colors or even a temporary scent of pinesol clean. 

An area resident said he noticed a few high school student types on the St. Kevin's grounds sitting around waiting yet the property did not look like it had been touched (almost).  A review of the site by UC News shows the continued presence of human waste, beds for the homeless untouched, an abandoned Boston Shines broom, grafitti and trash galore. One change is the creation of a pile of brush and broken tree limbs, the scattered debris assembled into one location. 

St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12The condition of the St. Kevin's property is an ongoing concern for area residents, especially as warmer weather approaches.  Fr. Jack Ahern, who presides over the St. Peter's, Holy Family and Mother Teresa parishes, is also responsible for maintaining the St. Kevin's property, yet our frequent surveillance of the site indicates that literally nothing is being done there.

The community has responded to this condition with differing opinions about the future of the St. Kevin's site.
  • Some residents have called for the site to be developed as soon as possible to eliminate the community problem. 
  • Others have pointed out that the Archdiocese will be conveying the site to a partnership that includes Holy Family Parish.  If they can't clean the site today, why would anyone want them to gain control of it in perpetuity?
  • Finally, another group believes the Archdiocese of Boston is deliberately not cleaning the site so that residents will, in desperation, agree to anything the archdiocese wants to build there.
Of course, none of these positions is necessarily even close to the reality EXCEPT the condition of the property. 
  1. It looks bad
  2. It smells bad
  3. It's unhealthy
  4. It's dangerous
  5. It sends a message to the world about Upham's Corner
See photos of property below
One bright spot shines out in all the St. Kevin's clutter, trash, leaves, brush and natural vegetation overtaking the site and that is the free beds available on a first come first serve basis to anyone, especially the homeless or those who don't care to sleep at home.

The beds are comfortable - bedding or smooth cardboard and keep the itchy grass from disturbing a good night's sleep.  Also the beds are out in the open air, allowing fresh breezes and wind to soothe your soul. 

Lying directly on the ground, for example, is believed to be very healthful and a factor that is missing in the lives of 99.9% of the rest of the world whose electrical systems are removed from the natural grounding effects of Mother Earth.

Note:  Please don't take this section the wrong way.  Upham's Corner News finds homeless people camped at St. Kevin's regularly and we always ask if we can help.  The answer is invariably: "No, I'm fine."  They don't want to be "found" there.  They want to be left alone.

The focus here is on the overall condition of St. Kevin's which has remained a painful sore for the community for close to four years since its closing in June 2008.  In light of the "heaviness," we have taken the liberty to add a bit of levity to a few photos.

St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12
Bed #1 conveniently located
behind the front bushes
just to the left of the stairs
leading into the church.
St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12
Bed #2 And just to the right of bed #1 is an entry door
into the church under a roof overhang
providing some respite from the rain.
St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12
Bed #3 Up the stairs providing a sense of privacy
adjacent to a large tree
St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12
Bed #4 for the more adventuresome, more
readily visible from the street if you
sleep sitting up.
St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12
Bed #5 is the most private, located behind the
church at the rear entrace.  At bit small,
it works well if you coil into a fetal position.
St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12 St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12
St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12 St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12 St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12
St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12 St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12
St. Kevin's after Boston Shines 4/28/12

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