JP CENTER—The Jamaica Plain post office is cutting back on 24-hour access to its lobby because of homeless people spending the night, according to United States Postal Service spokesperson Bob Cannon.
“It’s homeless people. That’s been a problem since we opened that lobby,” Cannon said.
When the new post office building at 655 Centre St. opened in 2005, one of its features was 24-hour access to rented mailboxes and an automated package-mailing machine.
Starting May 5, the hours will change: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The post office is closed on Sunday.
The post office counters have always been staffed only during normal business hours.
The post office also recently built a new room just off its main entrance to house all of its automated mailing machine services. That is just for better organization, Cannon said. The area will have the same hours as the rest of the post office.
The spacious lobby was irresistible to some homeless people, Cannon said.
“We had a situation [two weeks ago] where a custodian had to chase someone out,” Cannon said. “The way it was described to me was the lobby reeked after that.”
“We apologize for any inconvenience these changes may cause you, and we hope that you understand that the changes will result in the security of all our customers,” says a notice posted in the lobby on March 31 by Kevin Carter, the local post office’s customer services manager. The notice does not explain the exact reason for the change in hours.
Customers with questions can contact the post office at 524-3620.