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Dartmouth Town Administrator issues update on migrant situation in town and the response to it



Photo courtesy of Town of Dartmouth

Dartmouth officials have issued an update concerning the migrant situation in their town.

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

According to Shawn MacInnes, Town Administrator, 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. As of today, the Town has not received notification as to whether there will be additional families housed in Dartmouth in the future.

MacInnes stated that Dartmouth has an established Community Services Outreach Team. This team 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 outreach team includes representatives from all departments (Health, Public Safety, Education, Community Services, etc.)

This team, along with local social service agencies, charitable organizations, Select Board members and State Representative Chris Markey, are proactively formulating strategies to ensure the well-being and health of individuals arriving under the Massachusetts Right to Shelter Law, and in accordance with the State’s mandates. According to MacInnes, specifically, the team is coordinating with the State’s Community Liaison on multiple logistical aspects. These include matters related to health, transportation, educational requirements, regulatory compliance and communication. Collaborative efforts with local and regional nonprofit organizations, as well as the regional transit authority, are planned for the coming week to promptly address both immediate and medium-term necessities of the incoming families.

MacInnes stated that detailed information is currently limited due to the dynamic and evolving nature of this circumstance on a day-to-day basis.

Due to members of the Dartmouth community being eager to provide support and supplies, information about how the community may help will be provided as soon as possible.



  1. Ccullen

    October 7, 2023 at 6:19 am

    How about telling us how much $$$$$ Dartmouth has spent on this situation. Residents need to know.

  2. Barack Warren

    October 7, 2023 at 7:07 am

    It sounds like Dartmouth is well-equipped to serve those fleeing nations where they’ve been persecuted.

    Dartmouth has, for years, been a hotbed of systemic racism and inequality, denying shelter and affordable housing to people of color. While this gesture is small and in many ways too little too late, my hope is the town will continue to welcome and serve global citizens seeking a better life.

  3. PPerry

    October 7, 2023 at 8:23 am

    A small number is how many? Does “dynamic and evolving nature of this circumstance on a day to day basis” prohibit our well paid officials from being able to count or provide a count? Why is this important detail omitted in the “update”?

    The outreach team needs to review the circumstances in Sturbridge, MA and the recent hotel fire at a Sutton,MA motel housing these individuals to completely assess the situation and provide adequate response. Because the Governor declared a State of Emergency, town bylaws of occupancy limits are waived due to the “evolving nature of this circumstance on a day to day basis”. Dartmouth’s Fire Department being volunteer and already spread thin will have extreme difficulty should the Sutton, MA motel fire situation occur leaving little manpower to address legal town residents in times of emergency.

    One has to wonder if the community “eager to provide support and supplies” will do so beyond the first day into what could be months of this crisis and chaos being dropped on the community. While it takes a village, is the village eagar longterm?

  4. Wake up everyone

    October 7, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    MacInnes stated that detailed information is currently limited due to the dynamic and evolving nature of this circumstance on a day-to-day basis.

    Are you kidding me?

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