Local Leaders Say Joint Base Underutilized as Migrant Emergency Continues

Map of Joint Base Cape Cod.

YARMOUTH – As the state reaches its 7,500 families cap in its effort to shelter migrants, local officials said that Joint Base Cape Cod can be a vital tool for housing.

Yarmouth Selectmen and Chair of the Barnstable County Commissioners Mark Forest said the base was set up after Hurricane Katrina to handle roughly 2,500 individuals.

“From what we understand, there are only a few hundred migrants that have been housed at a Joint Base Cape Cod and I’ve expressed the concern that we’re underutilizing that asset in addressing this crisis. Unfortunately, in places like Yarmouth you know we’ve seen people displaced,” said Forest.

In Yarmouth, sheltering is being provided at the Harborside Suites Hotel.

He added that Yarmouth and other towns are pushing for more open communication between municipalities, the state, and the federal government in handling the influx of migrants.

On Cape Cod, emergency sheltering is also being provided at sites including Eastham and Bourne.

Meanwhile, Gov. Maura Healey has established a wait list for migrants seeking housing once the 7,500 families cap is reached, as well as announced a work authorization clinic the week of November 13 to help expedite finding employment.

For the full Sunday Journal interview with Mark Forest, click here.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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