CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Many communities in western Massachusetts have opened their doors to migrant families. However three of those cities say they have now reached capacity.
Many major cities in western Massachusetts that have accepted migrants are now finding that they are at capacity, adding they have done their part in the migrant crisis and asking other communities to step up and do the same. Chicopee currently is housing 98 families.
“Do we have more room and capacity? The answer is no. Our hotel is at full capacity. We are not aware of any other contracts with any other hotels and we don’t have any other locations that I am aware of that could suit the needs of those who need shelter,” said Chicopee Mayor John Vieau.
“We’ve been at capacity. We’re hovering around 120 and the state has kind of committed to keeping it that way, 120 families. So we’re hopeful that that’s the way it stays. At the same time, we are hopeful that some kind of cap can be put on, generally so the state can kind of get a hold of what’s going on,” West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt told 22News.
Many of these local leaders have expressed concern about resources, like language and translations services, and the ability for these families to quickly find employment and eventually permanent housing.
The city of Greenfield is housing 150 families. Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner stated, “I believe Governor Healey’s request for more resources to support emergency-sheltered families is crucial, with the state seeing an 80 percent increase in emergency-sheltered families from last year.”
Springfield has been in constant communication with the Healey administration and has stated that they are willing to help with the migrant situation, however the city is now at capacity.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno told 22News, “There comes a time when you say, ‘no más,’ because they are not showing a pathway of how these individuals, who come from tragic situations, can move up. So you are just going to keep concentrating poverty on top of more poverty, what’s going to happen?”
“For them, I feel like there’s a lot of good in the world because this is described as the country of opportunity,” said Sebastian Monk of Springfield.
22News will continue to follow the Massachusetts migrant crisis and it’s ripple effects as it continues to unfold.