Abutters struggle with Mass & Cass problems

Growing up in the Roxbury and South End neighborhoods, Yahaira Lopez is one of many who has cut through Clifford Park to get to Target and Stop & Shop.

Now, she can’t bear to walk through it.

The last time she did this past year, Lopez was in shock. Clifford Park is now home to a cluster of about 20 tents, individuals using drugs and thousands of needles littered throughout the park. She was appalled by the sanitary conditions and how extreme these issues have progressed.

“It was the most hurtful and the scariest thing I’ve seen happen in the city of Boston,” Lopez said. “I’m shocked at how the mayor and police are allowing that to happen.”

What Lopez describes is only a snippet of the reality of “Mass/Cass” — the community surrounding Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard — and the heart of the city’s

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