BOSTON (WHDH) - A judge on Wednesday denied the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts’ request to stop the removal of tents at a homeless encampment in Boston.

Earlier this month, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court to obtain a temporary restraining order in response to Boston’s former Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s decision to declare addiction and homelessness a public health emergency and clean up the area around Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.

Although only three plaintiffs were mentioned, the suit applied to all residents of the area, the ACLU said.

The city pledged to find treatment or alternative housing for people displaced from tents in the area but has not properly done so, ACLU lawyers argued. Lawyers also said that the homeless face the threat of arrest if they don’t leave the encampment within 48 hours.

“Our new mayor said just this morning that she is contemplating a new approach to this,” said Ruth Bourquin, senior and managing attorney at the ACLU of Massachusetts. “And yet here in court today, representations were made that the city does not have housing options that are appropriate for many of our clients who cannot use congregate shelters. Steps are underway to create those housing options, and we call upon the city to continue the pause and not force people under threat of arrest to leave where they are unless and until they have a housing option that takes into account their disabilities and other barriers.”

The city has been giving homeless people an eviction notice of 48 hours and providing bins for people to put their belongings in if they are forced from tents, citing concerns over substance abuse, fires, motor vehicle accidents, sexual assaults, robberies, and homicides. No arrests have been made at this time.

While many tents have been removed from the Mass and Cass encampment, hundreds of people are now living a few blocks away in the area of Newmarket Square and Atkinson Street.

Earlier in the day, Wu temporarily paused the removal of tents while the lawsuit was heard. It’s not clear if the city will start immediately clearing tents again.

“I think across the board, there is agreement that we need to take a public health lens and a housing lens to this crisis,” Wu said.

Wu also discussed the issue with Gov. Charlie Baker during an hourlong meeting at the State House.

This is a breaking news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.

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