Packed meeting discusses refugee resettlement program in Pittsfield

(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh, File)

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – A meeting was held in Pittsfield Monday night to update the community on its refugee resettlement program.

The meeting was held in the Herberg Middle School auditorium, and people in attendance wanted to know where the city’s refugee resettlement program stands.

Though none of the 35,000 refugees who have resettled in the United States are in Pittsfield, people with the resettlement program said that could all change.

Amongst the crowd was Sura Sheldon whose father was a refugee from Russia when he was 9 years old. He came to the U.S. for a better life.

Sheldon said she wants the same for others who want to come to America for the same reasons.

“I’m very aware that my father and his family could have perished during the time of the Nazi occupations,” she said.

Members with the Jewish Family Service said 15,000 more refugees could be coming to the country. But some at the meeting weren’t sure if that was a good idea.

Sheldon hopes people will learn to understand and accept.

“We project upon newcomers to this country – all of our fears and concerns – without understanding the larger picture,” she said.

There is not an exact date for when refugees will come to Pittsfield, but if they do, it could happen any time before the end of September.

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