Best Western in Franklin to Shelter Migrant Families
Town Administrator, Jamie Hellen, was notified this week that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has entered into a year lease with the Best Western Plus Executive Residency on Upper Union Street in Franklin to shelter incoming migrant families.
“The Town, and its departments, will lead with compassion, support and assistance for families, as allowed by the state” Hellen said. “We are working with various Town departments to proactively organize a managed response and we will communicate more information as it becomes available.”
Massachusetts law requires cities and towns to find housing for migrants coming into the state under the right to shelter provision. No local approvals are required, and, at this time, the Town does not have any specifics, such as how many migrants Franklin will host, where the migrants are coming from, and the composition of these individuals.
The Town’s Public Health Director, Cathleen Liberty, will be coordinating these efforts in close collaboration with both the Healy Administration and the Town Administrator’s officeAs more information becomes available the Town will share it broadly and post it to the Health Department’s website at https://www.franklinma.gov/health-department.
More than 80 communities throughout Massachusetts are working with the state to support more than 20,000 homeless families in crisis. Once the Town becomes aware of the particulars and understands the needs associated with helping individuals and families coming to Franklin, we will notify the community for support.
“At this time, we are asking the community not to send donations until the Town has a better understanding of the needs” said Liberty. “We anticipate there will be a need for aid, and we will work closely with local human services organizations and the community in the coming weeks to lend a helping hand to those requiring assistance.”
“Franklin is a welcoming community, and I have no doubt we will do whatever we can to accommodate and accept migrants with open arms and an open heart,” said Hellen. “It is my understanding that the Commonwealth will be providing meals, public health services, and transitional assistance. With that said, there will still be ongoing impacts and costs associated with hosting these families for Franklin and the Town will work with the state to help alleviate these costs.”
The Town is advising the public to not visit the Best Western hotel as there are no families currently housed there and there are no services present.