Cambridge Wawa homeless encampment

Belongings of individuals who are homeless occupy a grassy area alongside U.S. Route 50 in Cambridge.

CAMBRIDGE — Police are working to address a homeless encampment located near the side of U.S. Route 50 in Cambridge.

According to Cambridge Police Department Public Information Officer Capt. Justin Todd, the situation of homeless people occupying the area on the Wawa property, sleeping overnight, and staging their belongings there has been going on for a couple of months.

Todd said CPD was able to help one homeless person with community policing resources to obtain temporary housing before that person found an apartment locally, but that other people come and go from the site without interaction from the police.

“It’s about a lack of resources,” said Todd of the transient population, many of whom are dealing with mental health issues.

“Arresting them is not accomplishing anything — they’ll be right back,” said Todd, who added that often the people in those situations do not understand why they cannot stay in an area that they perceive meets their immediate needs.

Todd said that CPD and the city are communicating about how best address the situation of the encampment and the ongoing issue of homeless in the city, particularly with the prospect of the arrival of cold weather.

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