Homeless people have been camping at the Greenfield Town Common. Many use sleeping bags; others just lie on blankets. One homeless woman claimed the local shelters are always full.
“We don’t want to be an eyesore to the town,” said Madelynn Malloy of Greenfield. “None of us want to be here. We are here simply because we can’t go anywhere. The mayor hasn’t given us any other options. Until there’s another solution, we are kind of stuck.”
Greenfield homeless people have been staying on the town common for the past several years.
Greenfield police said they can legally do this because the town common falls under different bylaws than other city properties. Greenfield police, city officials, and social service agencies are working to find a sustainable and sanitary solution for people camping on the town common.
“I’m optimistic that progress will be made in this,” said Elizabeth Benz, Program Director for ServiceNet’s Franklin Resource Center in Greenfield. “We will offer immediate support and some longer term options that will be more sustainable.”
Benz told 22News they lack the funding to expand the Wells Street shelter. She encourages homeless people to visit their air-conditioned Resource Center where they can speak with case managers and get water and food.
Benz said Franklin County has very little affordable housing options for homeless people.