Posted on February 14, 2024

First Boston Suburbanites House Migrants in Their Homes

Danielle Wallace, Fox News, February 14, 2024

Massachusetts residents – a woman and a husband and wife – recently spoke on camera with local outlets about their experiences welcoming migrant families into their homes in the Boston suburb of Brookline, encouraging others to join in opening their doors, part of what one Democratic official deemed should be a “shared responsibility.”

A migrant couple from Haiti spoke exclusively to WBTS-CD about their experience sleeping on the floor of Boston Logal International Airport and then at a children’s hospital with their two-year-old daughter who grew sick during their journey to the United States.

But that was until Wildande Joseph, and her husband, whose name the outlet did not air, were welcomed into the apartment of Lisa Hillenbrand.

Joseph said her daughter is much happier now and wakes up every morning saying, “Hi Lisa!”

“It’s a delight, and it’s really fun having them. What I realized is there’s so much prejudice against refugees, mostly because people don’t know them,” Hillenbrand said, telling the outlet she feels like she has her own personal chef because Joseph loves cooking and dreams of opening a restaurant.

“They are hardworking, they want to learn, they want to be successful, and I feel great helping. And I get to understand the refugee crisis from the inside,” Hillenbrand said, encouraging others to do as she did and volunteer during Brookline Town Hall meetings to take in more migrants themselves in coming weeks.

This comes as Boston City Councilwoman Julia Mejia, a Democrat, recently urged residents in Brookline and other Boston suburbs to do the same.

“Dedham, Wellesley, Brookline – cities and towns that have so much more resources than the city of Boston. People who actually have more financial support,” Mejia told WBTS. “We need to do everything in our power to make sure that we are setting them up for success, or whatever success looks like. I think everybody should be opening their doors because this is a shared responsibility.”


Their interview comes after Colin and Jessica Stokes, also Brookline residents, shared with another outlet, WBZ, last week their experience taking another migrant family into their home as state shelters handling the influx of illegal immigrants into Boston and the state have reached capacity.

“The family is lovely. They are so appreciative. It has been wonderful,” Jessica Stokes told WBZ {snip}

When she called the state saying that she and her husband were willing to take in migrants, Stokes said it took less than an hour for the migrants to be dropped off at their door. She and her husband are encouraging other residents to take part in the pilot program.