A national hotel chain has decided to stop being part of the state’s Emergency Assistance Program that houses more than 2,000 homeless families in hotel rooms across the state.
Extended Stay America, which has a location along Route 1 in Danvers, has decided to drop the program, reported the Boston Herald.
About 169 homeless families currently staying at Extended Stay America hotels across Massachusetts will be moved out within the next 10 months, Matthew Sheaff, spokesman for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, told the Herald.
It’s unclear where they will go, but Sheaff said some might be moved as far as 20 miles away from their current locations because of a lack of available rooms.
The homeless program has been controversial, especially in Danvers. Eight percent of the state’s homeless housed in hotels are located in Danvers (178 families as of earlier this year).
The program has put a budgetary strain on Danvers, including transportation costs and police calls to the hotels. Last month, Danvers Police charged a man at Extended Stay America for abusing his girlfriend’s 4-year-old boy, including punching him in the face and putting hot sauce in the boy’s mouth and taping it shut.
Danvers' legislative representatives have filed legislation in hopes that the state will provide more financial relief for Danvers because the town has such a large number of homeless families living in hotels.