NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northampton City Council confirmed Monday night 51 Syrian refugees will be relocating to the city, but there are still a lot of unknowns.
Close to 200 residents came out for a special meeting at JFK Middle School to learn about the plans. Northampton City Councilor Alisa Klein told 22News the Catholic Charities Agency is helping the refugees resettle, but the question is when.
The group initially wanted the refugees to arrive in October, but the city is asking for a December, even January resettlement, so it can better prepare. Right now the city and Catholic Charities are trying to line up help in four major categories, including employment.
City Councilor Klein said, “We’re asking people if they or someone they know might be able to employ a refugee, or do an apprenticeship for a refugee or pay them a salary.”
Klein added that they also need help to secure affordable housing, as well as families to care for the refugees, and volunteers to help with transportation.
The refugees won’t all arrive at once. One or two families will come at a time, until all 51 have resettled by October 2017.
22News will continue to follow this story. When the city settles on a date with The Catholic Charities for the resettlement, we’ll let you know.