Needles, Condoms and Human Feces: Neighbors Decry Condition of Boston Park

The problems at Clifford Park in Roxbury, located blocks from Mass. and Cass, are becoming worse, according to youth coach Domingos DaRosa

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The condition of a Boston park where children play has long raised concerns among residents, who now say the problem has gotten worse.

During a recent children's baseball practice at Clifford Park in Roxbury, Domingos DaRosa found a homeless man passed out in the middle of the field.

"He was sleeping," said DaRosa. "He was a little intoxicated and we asked him to leave because we were getting ready to practice."

It's not an uncommon sight at the park — located blocks from the area known as Mass. and Cass, which has been plagued by troublesome transients and public drug use for years.

But the problems, DaRosa said, are rapidly multiplying, and he said city officials haven't done much to improve the conditions at the park.

"You can see the bottle caps, the trash, the stuff that are left over from Friday, Saturday and Sunday," he said. "You can find folks camping around the park, you can find needles just about everywhere, human feces."

There are also used condoms and other drug paraphernalia scattered throughout the park.

NBC10 Boston first reported on the issues at Clifford Park in September, shortly before DaRosa moved his Boston Bengals Pop Warner football program to another field. His decision followed a series on run-ins with aggressive homeless people and incidents in which the children he coaches were nearly pricked with used needles.

In addition to the rampant drug use, DaRosa said large weekend parties and piling trash are now a regular occurrence at the park.

He said that although he moved his team back to the field earlier this year, he's seriously considering leaving it permanently.

"This park was a safe haven for the kids in my community, and now those same kids — that we call at-risk — are losing, on top of other things, they're losing a park that should be a safe haven."

Mayor Michelle Wu's office didn't respond Monday to a request for comment.

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