Homeless shelter for one, woods off University Drive
While thankfully there were no arrests last night at the "Celebrate Amherst Block Party" for noise, nuisance or disturbing the peace, one of the usual suspects -- Maurice St Onge -- was arrested for open container violation while consuming "Five O'Clock Vodka" at 7:49 PM on North Pleasant street, in town center, at around peak attendance time for the family oriented block party.
This is precisely why Town Manager John Musante was leaning towards forbidding Craig's Doors, the homeless shelter at the Baptist Church, to increase capacity by 50%, going from 16 beds to 24.
His bosses, the Select Board, have publicly all-but-ordered him to allow the expansion ... not to micromanage of course. Pretty safe bet Mr. Musante will not wish to jeopardize his $142,100 position over a homeless shelter.
The B-I-G difference between Amherst's homeless shelter and all other regional facilities is that Craig's Doors is a "wet shelter," meaning folks can still attend even if under the influence of drugs.
Which is kind of like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting trying to increase attendance by hosting meetings next to a bar.
APD gets calls when the homeless are overly aggressive about occupying benches in town