Migrant Shelter at Harborside Suites Almost Maxed

YARMOUTH – Emergency sheltering services at Harborside Suites in Yarmouth are at nearly full capacity, with approximately 78 residents according to town officials.

Of the 22 families, there are 25 school-aged students who are attending local schools.

The school department is eligible to receive $104 per student per day as reimbursed from the state, though town officials add that annual costs per pupil in the Dennis-Yarmouth School district are slightly higher, at about $21,500.

While the Health Department is coordinating services, the town said the migrants’ stay are not incurring additional costs.

The Harborside Suites site is operating stably, though the town remains vigilant about potential program expansions and how they could interact with local bylaws and requirements.

According to town officials, Yarmouth is actively working to address any impacts on the town caused by the sheltering, and to ensure all public safeguards of the migrant families, as well as the town’s residents, are met.

The following is the full statement from the Town of Yarmouth:

On September 26, 2023, Yarmouth provided an important update regarding the current status of migrant housing and services at Harborside Suites, demonstrating a commitment to transparency and community safeguards. The information is presented as follows:

1. Migrant Housing Status:

Over the past two weeks, Harborside Suites has made significant progress in accommodating migrant families. Currently, the facility is nearly at full capacity, with approximately 78 residents. These residents consist of 22 families, including 25 school-aged students. Among the students, 25 are enrolled at the Ezra Bake School, with five attending the intermediate/middle school and four in the high school.

2. Education and Reimbursement:

The primary cost of services primarily rests with the School Department, which reports the successful integration of migrant children into their existing programs. The School Department is eligible to receive $104 per student per day as reimbursement from the state. This reimbursement is calculated based on the average per-pupil expenditure in Massachusetts, totaling $18,720 per student. Notably, the annual per-pupil expenditure in the Dennis-Yarmouth School District is $21,557, which is slightly below the reimbursement amount. These funds are expected to be allocated toward the addition of an additional English Language position, in accordance with the School Department’s requirements.

3. Service Coordination:

At present, no other service delivery costs are being incurred. However, the Town continues its vital role in monitoring and coordinating services, overseen by the Health Department.

4. Stability and Future Concerns:

Harborside Suites is operating steadily in terms of services and its impact on the community. Nevertheless, the Town remains vigilant about the potential for program expansion within the community, which could have larger impacts than those currently experienced. To address this concern, the Town is taking appropriate steps to safeguard its interests. These measures include adhering to local bylaws and requirements and engaging in direct communication with relevant authorities to explore options for limiting further program growth within the community.

The Town of Yarmouth is actively working to address any impacts on the town arising from these arrangements and to ensure that all public safeguards for the migrant families now residing at Harborside Suites, as well as the town’s residents, are met.

As the situation evolves, the Town of Yarmouth will provide regular updates to the community. They are closely monitoring developments and working closely with relevant authorities to assess and respond to any changing circumstances.

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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