Homeless Tent Comes Down

Published by Chris Wangler - June 22, 2020.

After roughly two months, a 4,000 square foot temporary homeless tent on Waltham Common has come down.

On Monday, workers dismantled the large tent. It was operated by Middlesex Human Service Agency (MHSA), a Waltham-based homeless outreach agency.

Homeless men from MHSA’s nearby Bristol Lodge dry shelter were moved to the tent back in mid-April (bottom photo). Bristol Lodge could not accommodate them and meet CDC safety guidelines for coronavirus social distancing.

When the men were moved to the tent, none of MHSA’s male homeless population had tested positive for COVID-19.

MHSA said Monday that “up to 30” men were temporarily housed in the heated and powered tent.

An unnamed homeless man who stayed in the tent speculated that “more than half” left the tent while it was up.

MHSA declined to comment on the departures, but said Monday that “Middlesex Human Service Agency is now able to comply with all health and safety guidelines within its nearby [Bristol Lodge] shelter building.”

A second, smaller tent for the homeless nearby came down in mid-May. It was operated by the City of Waltham.

Both tents were paid for by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).