You would walk by Northampton Lodging at 129 Pleasant Street in the daytime and never give it a thought. The building itself is attractive , landscaped and attractively signed. The ship on its sign is fully rigged and sailing on calm seas. Ah, but if you were down and almost out and needed a place to stay for a couple weeks, checking in might be the gateway to some bad company and lousy adventures. There would be a lot of coming and going and banging at night and someone sleeping in the corridor in the morning. Someone who goes by the name of spentfuelrod is posting on MassLive (see post 6851) about a rooming house that has to be Northampton Lodging. He is urging people to call the Mayor about it, and characterizes it as a major source of drugs in Northampton. I went down there the other night to see what was going on, and although the building was quiet, you could see what spentfuelrod was talking about. The high tech set of pushbuttons on the front door didn’t work, and anyone could walk in and out at any hour. And downstairs I smelled crack cocaine in the air outside one room, and another door was suspiciously ajar. Anyone who leaves his door open at 10:30pm in a rooming house is probably looking for business to walk in.
So something needs to happen here. The Mayor needs to broker a little meeting and do some jawboning. The Board of Health needs to inspect. Officer Opie needs to come by and check the doors and make a call when calls need to be made.The place should not be shut down, but it needs to shape up. Two consecutive nights I went down there and the building was wide open both times.