Hamburg leaders say no asylum seekers are housed in local motels; Social Services providing emergency shelter to homeless

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Leaders in Hamburg are dispelling concerns from people who believe a pair of hotels in the town are housing asylum seekers.

Despite rumors, the Quality Inn and Super 8 off of Camp Road are not housing any asylum seekers, the Erie County Department of Social Services told News 4. Rather, the motels are providing emergency shelter to local people who are experiencing homelessness and who have no connection to asylum seekers from New York City.

Peter Szymanski, who is staying at the Quality Inn, told News 4 that it’s difficult to buy food and cook meals because of a lack of transportation.

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“If you ain’t got no vehicles you can’t get around and get food, because they tell you, ‘Oh well you have to come to us, because we don’t deliver food,'” Szymanski said. “How are you supposed to feed your kids? Then, if you don’t feed your kids then you get in trouble because you’re neglecting your kids.”

The owner of the motel, Anil Dholakiya, said he has received complaints over security issues from the nearby Forest Glen neighborhood.

“Some of the complaints [are] because [some of] the people are going to the neighborhood properties,” Dholakiya said. “So, to prevent them we are installing a fence and hired 24/7 security company, Allied Universal.”

Social Services says they’ve seen a 40 percent increase in the number of cases of homeless families, many of them with children. A room at local motels typically runs between $35 and $110 per night.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.

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