News Flash

Town of Plainville

Posted on: September 1, 2023

The State to house 12 "unsheltered" families in Plainville

On Thursday, August 31, at around 5:00 PM, our Town Administrator, Brian Noble, received a call from Governor Healey’s office. The purpose of the call was to inform us that the state plans to house some migrant families in Plainville, using one or more local hotels or motels for accommodation. At the time of the call, no additional details were provided. Mr. Noble promptly reached out to me and the other Select Board members, Brian Kelly and Maggie Clarke. Additionally, he included Police Chief Floyd, Fire/EMS Chief Ball, and Superintendent Parson.  
To facilitate a coordinated response, I contacted State Senator Becca Rausch and State Representative Marcus Vaughn to inform them of the situation and to seek their assistance in answering our questions. Over the past 24 hours, we have received additional information from the Governor’s Office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Before delving into the specifics, it’s important to emphasize that your Town Administrator, Public Safety Chiefs, School Superintendent, and Select Board are working tirelessly to address Plainville’s needs, even as we welcome these families. While the state’s decision may raise concerns, we are confident that the impact will be manageable due to the relatively small number of families involved. Discussions about immigration policies, border issues, and refugees are beyond the scope of this update; my focus is on ensuring the well-being of all Plainville residents.
What we know so far:
  • 15 Rooms at one of the local hotels have been reserved as temporary housing for up to 12 families, effective now through the end of the year.
  • At least two of the families have already arrived.
  • An unspecified number of children are among these families.
  •  The state is responsible for providing meals to the families via a catering service.
What we are working to find out:
  • We have yet to determine the exact number of school-aged children involved. Our Superintendent and staff are liaising with DESE to assess potential enrollment in our schools. Should students join our school system, the state has pledged to provide meaningful financial support.
  • We are uncertain about the immigration status of these families.
  • We do not yet know the families’ countries of origin as yet, although we have some ideas.
  • The employment status of the adults in these families is also currently unknown. We anticipate that many will eventually receive employment authorization, which could benefit our community.
Everyone previously mentioned is committed to gathering more information. The arrival of these families in Plainville will further help us clarify the situation. This space will be updated with official information as it becomes available.
In closing, I have two points to emphasize:
  1. Rest assured that the needs of Plainville will be met throughout this process. We are going to be fine.
  2. As the saying on one of my favorite shirts goes, “Plainville: Small Town, Big Hearts.” Let’s remember that.
Thank you,

Jeffrey Johnson

Governor Healey Declares State of Emergency
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