HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – 24/7 Wall Street has named Holyoke the most dangerous city in Massachusetts.
The report found that violent crimes in Holyoke accounted for nearly two percent of all violent crime in Massachusetts in 2017.
But, one longtime Holyoke resident told 22News, he actually feels very safe in the city.
“I can leave my house at two in the morning and feel safe walking down the street,” explained John Laurino of Holyoke.
Ralphie Lugo lived in Holyoke for decades, and told 22News, he’s seen improvements in the city.
“Before, it was really bad, but it has slowed down a lot,” said Lugo. “They just have to clean up the homeless and drug addicts. That’s it.”
According to the U.S. Census, nearly 30 percent of people living in Holyoke are below the poverty line, and multiple studies have shown that crime does tend to be higher in poorer communities.
Brenda Lamagdeleine is the manager of Margaret’s Pantry in Holyoke. She told 22News she sees this poverty firsthand.
“We service over 1,000 people every month,” said Lamagdeleine. “That’s a little over 400 families every month. About 85,000 pounds of food a month. Our pantry has been in desperate and dire need of food since October of last year.”
22News has reached out to Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse about this report and we are waiting to hear back.