GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A follow-up to stories we've brought you about the homeless community staying in Massachusetts hotels.
The 22News I-Team took a closer look to see if it's taxpayers dollars well spent.
The state is paying millions of dollars a month to put homeless people in hotels, and according to some of those seeking shelter in the hotels, saving enough money to get out is nearly impossible.
There are more than 14 hundred families statewide seeking shelter in hotels.
The price tag: $3,000 per family a month, that's about $50 million dollars a year.
At that price, you'd think the living would be lavish, but a 22News I-Team Investigation reveals the story behind these walls is quite different.
"I had my daughter come stay for a minute and she ended up having head-lice," said Theresa Conner, Springfield.
Theresa Conner of Springfield and Sinneh Rose of Greenfield don't know each other but they are two of the hundreds of families living in hotels here in Western Massachusetts and the stories they have are shocking.
From bedbugs to unsanitary bedding.
"They were stained, blood stains, you could tell," Conner said.
The told us about strict rules.
"I was reprimanded because my daughter drew hopscotch on the ground. She had to play by the dumpster," Rose said. "I gotta be honest you feel like a prisoner."
Forget about saving money to get off welfare, because you apparently can't cook in the hotels.
"You have to eat out every single day which costs money, so you're stressed about that because you'll never get out of here if you never save money," Conner added.
The 22News I-Team couldn't get into any of the hotels without trespassing and no one would give us permission citing privacy concerns, but what we could do is take the testimony we heard from the residents straight to the people in charge.
Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development, admits hotels are not ideal for the taxpayer or resident.
"It's not a good idea, it's our last resort," Gornstein said.
Gornstein says the state is working to reinvest the money spent on hotels into permanent housing, in the meantime they think they're better than having people on the streets.
As for the living conditions we were told about, Gornstein says hotel rules are designed to keep everyone safe, but bugs and other inhumane conditions shouldn't be tolerated.
"I'd be happy to look into any complaint or any motel," Gornstein added.
We told him where our residents were living and the complaints they have.
An update for you: One of the women we spoke with in this story told us the state visited her hotel this week, she was happy with the visit, and she's been relocated.