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Ten Years Since Springfield’s Sanctuary City

sanctuary city SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB)  – It’s been ten years since dozens of homeless people set up, what became known as Sanctuary City in downtown Springfield. They lived in tents,  first outside St. Michael’s Cathedral, then on land further up state street owned by the Open Pantry. Many didn’t feel safe at the city’s shelter on Worthington Street. Michaelann  Bewsee is the director of Arise for Social Justice. She says since 2004, the city has placed 274 people who were homeless into housing with supportive services, adding, “That’s  27 people a year and the shelters are still full. So, yea, it’s good for those 274 people, but they just keep coming because the conditions that create homelessness still exist, lack  of affordable housing and lack of jobs that pay a decent wage. “

Over 400 homeless lived for a time in Sanctuary City. It operated for five months, breaking camp just as winter weather set in.

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  • Rags

    Thousands of homeless and hundreds of abandoned building. Connect the dotd

  • Victoriah hall

    Short coverage of an important subject. Big fail for the news service,in Springfield

  • 32 MuddyPaws

    The mere fact that Sanctuary City happened at all, or had to happen, is appalling. That we have so many homeless and a shelter where they don’t feel safe is disgusting. What use is a shelter when even the homeless are afraid to go there and feel safer out in the elements and on the streets? That is beyond comprehension. The city turns a blind eye to some of the most paramount issues it has: homelessness, businesses closing or moving away and gang warfare. Yet it concentrates on spending $13 mil in fixing a Campanile tower and clock that hasn’t worked in decades. Pathetic mindset of and for Springfield residents.