FAIRHAVEN — As a growing number of migrant families arrive in Massachusetts, the Seaport Resort and Marina on Middle Street will be used as a shelter, town officials said last week.
The state will initiate the placement of unsheltered migrant families in 15 rooms at the Seaport Inn, selectmen said in a statement, adding that town officials “will do what is needed to assist the state and Governor Healey to manage this situation.” The inn has 86 rooms in total.
Helena DaSilva Hughes, president and CEO of the Immigrants’ Assistance Center in New Bedford, told The Light she was concerned when she learned about the decision.
DaSilva Hughes, who has been actively involved in assisting migrants sheltered at the Clarion Hotel in Taunton in recent weeks, said that housing migrants may create a division among residents, particularly among homeless individuals.
“The state is bringing migrants to an area that is already so stressed out,” she said. “It worries me because we have so many people who are having a hard time finding housing.”
In August, Gov. Maura Healey declared a state of emergency due to the rapidly rising numbers of migrant families arriving in Massachusetts in need of shelter and services.
According to the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, there are currently more than 6,700 families in emergency family shelters across the state, and an estimated half of them are new arrivals. To date, state housing officials said more than 80 cities and towns across Massachusetts are hosting families in need.
Wareham and Somerset are among the 80 communities. In addition to the families at the Clarion Hotel in Taunton, and those who will come to Fairhaven, the Orbitz Inn in Somerset will make use of up to 32 rooms for migrant housing, according to a news release from Somerset Town Administrator Mark Ullucci. Families began moving in around Sept. 7, he said.
In Wareham, two motels are being used to house migrants, according to a report in the Wareham Week. Sixteen families were located at the Atlantic Motel and others have been staying at the Mariner’s Inn since mid-summer.
Email reporter Eleonora Bianchi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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