DARTMOUTH (WBSM) — Dartmouth town officials acknowledged Friday that migrant families are being sheltered in hotel rooms in the town.

“Earlier this week, the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities housed a small number of families in state-funded hotel rooms here in Dartmouth to serve as long-term temporary housing,” stated a release from Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes on the letterhead of the Dartmouth Select Board.

“As of today, the Town has not received notification as to whether there will be additional families housed in Dartmouth in the future," the release said.

A spokesperson for the town did not give specifics when asked by WBSM regarding the number of families or the name of the hotel in which they are staying.

“At this time we are referring people to the state for that information,” said Magnolia McComish, Communications Coordinator for the Town of Dartmouth.

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In an infograph last updated on Friday, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts currently has 6,820 families registered in the state’s shelter system. Of that number, 3,121 are currently housed in hotels or motels, with 3,589 in traditional shelters.

The graphic states that between one family and 50 families are currently housed in Dartmouth but gives no further statistics.

Mass.gov
Mass.gov
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The families are being taken in under the Massachusetts Right to Shelter Law.

“In August 2023, Governor Maura Healey declared a State of Emergency in response to the Commonwealth’s ongoing migrant crisis,” the Town said in the release. “Like many other communities in Massachusetts, Dartmouth is now required to provide aid to families in the State’s supplemental emergency shelters.”

Dartmouth has established a Community Services Outreach Team that is “comprised of multi-departmental staff focused on identifying and addressing the needs of the community’s at-risk population by designing, promoting and implementing needed services while coordinating with existing community resources and groups.”

The Town said this team is collaborating with local and regional nonprofit organizations and others to address the needs of incoming families.

“Dartmouth is fortunate to have a team dedicated to efficiently managing the necessary
logistical challenges associated with this situation,” the Town said. ‘It is important to note that detailed information is currently limited due to the dynamic and evolving nature of this circumstance on a day-to-day basis.”

The Town also said the team is currently assessing the needs of the incoming families for any immediate needs and supplies, and that “more information about how the community may help will be provided as soon as possible.”

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
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In Fairhaven, a few dozen people on both sides of the issue gathered on opposite sides of Middle Street along Route 6 on Saturday morning outside of the Seaport Inn & Marina, where town officials said 15 unsheltered families will be housed by the Commonwealth.

An employee of the Seaport Inn told WBSM that as of 11:30 a.m. Saturday, those families still had not arrived at the hotel.

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Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
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Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
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Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
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