© 2023
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

New Effort Pledged To Help Mass. Homeless Families

Friends of the Homeless Resource Center
Friends of the Homeless Resource Center

The state’s top housing official is pledging to reduce the number of homeless families sheltered in motels in western Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Housing Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein said the state will seek alternative locations to house the homeless families and provide more social workers to help them find jobs and permanent housing.

"We are going to constantly employing new strategies and innovative ideas to help the families get back on their feet."

Gornstein met Thursday with Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos and several state legislators.   More than 10 percent of the 2,000 families currently in the state’s emergency shelter system are housed in three motels in Chicopee. Kos said it is putting a strain on schools and public safety. The state has budgeted $140 million this year for emergency shelter for the homeless.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.