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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Homeless Situation in Danvers

A letter submitted by Selectman Keith Lucy.

As I'm sure you are all aware, the issue of homeless families being placed in hotels and motels in Danvers was discussed a couple of years ago by the Danvers Board of Selectmen. At that time, Rep. Speliotis came before the board and discussed the issue.  

Over the past two school years, the school age children of these families put a significant burden on the school system, and often the impact is not known until school opens in the fall. The town is left to pick up the cost with no help from the state, even though the impact is caused by a state program.

For a while, the Board of Selectmen was receiving weekly updates from Rep. Speliotis showing declining numbers.  These weekly updates stopped in January.  Since January, the numbers have been on the rise.  The numbers are continue to skyrocket, and Rep. Speliotis has done nothing to alleviate the impact that these student will have on the Danvers public school system.

Since January, the number of families living in Danvers hotels and motels has increased from 24 to 141... 488%, .The number of children has increased from 45 to 220... 389%,.  The number of school aged children has increased from 18 to 99... a staggering, and costly, 450%.

The increase in the number of families and the number of school aged children have both increased by double digit percentages in the three weeks alone.  If this trend continues, or even if these numbers stay flat, there will be a significant impact to the education budget, and Mr. Speliotis has done nothing to alleviate the impact.

Last February, Mr. Speliotis authored a letter to the editor taking credit when the numbers started to dwindle. Shouldn't he also be held accountable now that the numbers are skyrocketing?

Keith Lucy

helen burns August 01, 2011 at 12:54 PM
These statistics are shocking and clearly indicate that some action to alleviate this situation needs to be taken. If it has not already happened, it seems time for the Town Manager, Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Mr. Speliotis to meet and develop a plan to deal with this. The time for action seems on everyone's part.

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