GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Greenfield has been informed by the state that several homeless families are being temporarily housed at a local hotel with more to come.
According to a news release sent to 22News from Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner’s office, as of Thursday, fourteen families were being housed, and the state expects as many as fifty rooms to be occupied in the coming days. Health Director Jennifer Hoffman, Emergency Management Director, Fire Chief Robert Strahan, and Mayor Roxann Wedegartner have all visited the temporary shelter.
Those being housed will be low-income families with children under 21 or pregnant women who qualify for the state Emergency Assistance Program, with a priority for families from Greenfield. The hotel will provide families with three meals per day until a service provider is able to take over those responsibilities. Some school-aged children may enroll in Greenfield public schools, while others may remain enrolled in other area schools. The school will be reimbursed for transportation, enrollment, and other extra costs incurred that are associated with educating these students.
The on-site service provider will work with families to help place them into stable housing of their own as soon as possible. There is no minimum or maximum length of stay.
“Although this is quite sudden and could have some significant impacts on the city, we are willing to work cooperatively with the provider and the Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities to make our city as welcoming as possible within our means. We will continue to work daily with the State until we are certain that all of the families are settled safely and the city remains safe,” said Mayor Wedegartner.
Massachusetts is facing a housing crisis. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities has begun moving homeless families to hotels in western Massachusetts, including West Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield and Chicopee. In a statement sent to the 22News I-Team from the state, the housing crisis is being caused by a lack of affordable housing and an increase in people coming to the state.