FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Army-Navy football game is like no other. “Beat Navy every day until the day they graduate and beyond. Every midshipman says, ‘beat Army,’” said Mark Mansbach owner of Hillsdale Travel Agency.
Veterans and their families booked rooms to attend the game at Gillette on December 9th only to be told they no longer have a place to stay.
Mansbach handles a lot of military families and says he lost 70 rooms to migrants.
“Most people are scrambling for rooms. People that I knew went back to my site and re-booked another hotel. Some people I reached out to said they just booked in Boston. Some people just cancelled,” Mansbach said.
Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency when it comes to migrants entering the bay state. But under the state’s right-to shelter law, which guarantees shelter to homeless families with children, the state now houses migrants in hotels.
“I try to stay above the politics in this situation. I think it’s between the taxpayers and the state of Massachusetts,” said Mansbach.
The three hotels where he lost rooms to migrants are the Best Western in Sharon/Foxboro, the Best Western in Franklin and the Comfort Inn in Foxboro. They are all run by the same company, Giri Hotel Management.
The management company said in a statement:
“Giri Hotel Management is thrilled to announce our commitment to providing shelter and support to refugees at our hotels. As a gesture of solidarity and humanitarian responsibility, we are opening our doors to those seeking refuge in our community. We consider it a privilege to offer a safe haven to those who have been forced to flee their homes due to challenging circumstances, and our enthusiasm stems from our belief in the fundamental values of compassion and unity. By providing shelter to refugees, we aim to be a part of a global community that stands together in support of those in need. We look forward to working with local authorities and organizations to ensure a smooth transition for all those who will call our hotels home during their time with us.”
When asked about military veterans being kicked out of their rooms for migrants Gov. Healey said, “I am very distressed to learn that any veteran may have been moved from a hotel who had booked a hotel for that game. As I understand it those were decisions made by area hotels.”
Healey also says she has directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to reach out to any one affected.
Boston25 reached out to other hotel chains about their situations but have not heard back.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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