Watch CBS News

Yarmouth motel migrant housing proposal draws opposition from protesters

Yarmouth motel migrant housing proposal draws opposition from protesters
Yarmouth motel migrant housing proposal draws opposition from protesters 02:27

YARMOUTH – As the Massachusetts migrant crisis worsens, officials say volunteers are overwhelmed by the increased demand for emergency family housing.

"Right now, the non-profits that are in Massachusetts are stretched and so thin they cannot provide anymore staff," Democrat State Sen. Jamie Eldridge said.

Last week the state stepped in to support staff and migrant families arriving to Massachusetts by activating the National Guard.

"We're grateful to the brave men and women of the National Guard for stepping up to help us ensure that every family in emergency shelter has their needs met," Gov. Maura Healey wrote in part.

Children are being enrolled in public schools throughout the state, but local non-profits say the needs of migrant families don't stop there.

"Haiti has been facing dire challenges. Natural disasters, food insecurity, the infestation of gang activities. Many families have been traveling," said Pastor Dieufort Fleurissaint, the executive director of True Alliance Center, a non-profit faith-based organization advocating for the Haitian community.

The organization is hoping to support both migrant and resident families in local shelters.

"Many came to churches in search of spiritual, social and physical assistance as well and then we can address on a minimal step some of the needs they're facing. That's the type of partnership we'd like to have with the state so that we can alleviate this burden that the state is facing," Fleurissaint said.

With winter on its way, the state is working quickly to add housing.

That includes the Yarmouth Resort motel, which is set to block off up to 100 rooms for migrant families, a move neighbors on Cape Cod protested against on Saturday.

Since 2022, more than 1,500 temporary hotels and new permanent shelters have been added statewide.

The Executive Office of Housing and Livable communities said in a statement "The administration is exploring all options to expand family shelter capacity to meet rising demand."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.