Air Motel to accommodate 35 immigrant families

The town of Ayr prepares for the arrival of 150 migrants who have been provided with accommodation in a hotel in Ayr. Pictured, transportation is provided to Venezuelan migrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard in 2022. (Ron Schloerb/Cape Cod Times via AP)

AYER — The city said communication and advance notice were missing in plans drawn up by the state and a Fitchburg nonprofit to house 35 migrant families in a local hotel. The move was a direct result of the state of emergency declared by Governor Maura Healey to aid the influx of migrants.

“Information from the state to the Town of Ayer is not yet available,” an official public notice issued Tuesday said.

Regardless, the city is preparing to accept immigrant families and is doing what is needed to ensure the provision of city services, such as public education.

“These preparations include planning by the Ayer Shirley Regional School District regarding student registration in accordance with the state’s ‘Right to Shelter’ law,” the official statement read.

The city was informed on Friday, September 8, that approximately 150 people will be housed at an Ayer hotel as part of the Right to Shelter ordinance, and the Fitchburg-based nonprofit Making Opportunities Count (MOC) will manage the shelter in partnership with Right to Shelter. “Shelter.” the state.

“State policy is to place these families in motels in cities and towns across the state without the need for local approval and, in many cases, without advance notice,” the statement said. “Information from the state to the Town of Ayer is non-existent yet.”

Since being made aware of the matter, city social worker Brittany Beaudry has been on the ground trying to gather information for city departments from the Department of Commerce and the hotel, which were not identified in the notice. The city also reached out to State Senator Jimmy Eldridge so he could relay the city’s concerns about the lack of communication.

“The City of Ayr is preparing to comply with the state order by meeting with the Department of Commerce and the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities in the next few days to coordinate logistics and open lines of communication.”

The city will turn to Governor Haley and the state legislative delegation as well as their legislative delegation in Washington for funding assistance to support 150 new residents with city services.

“The City will seek state and federal support to provide the additional City resources necessary to address school-level impacts and provide appropriate levels of public safety resources.”

Make opportunities count

Making Opportunity Matter, located on River Street in Fitchburg, was founded in 1966 for the primary purpose of promoting the well-being of low-income people in north-central Massachusetts cities and towns.

The Ministry of Commerce works to achieve this purpose by providing direct services, cooperating with other public and private entities, and by applying comprehensive strategies that help address complex poverty issues. Their services are greatly branched out in order to achieve this goal.

They were among the organizations that praised the creation of the new mental health hotline 988 because it provides the nonprofit with another tool.

“When we work with our clients and talk about things like safety concerns and risk factors, that’s another resource we can offer them,” Andrew Stevens, director of clinical operations at the MOC Counseling Center, said last July.

For a complete list of programs and services, visit

Lowell Sun reporter Peter Currier contributed to this article.

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