Monday, February 26, 2024
Home MASSACHUSETTS Boston "The State's Emergency Family Shelter System will reach full capacity by the...

“The State’s Emergency Family Shelter System will reach full capacity by the end of this month” said Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey at a press conference this morning at the State House

BOSTON- (STATE HOUSE) – BY YVES CAJUSTE – Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey has announced a critical development in the state’s emergency shelter system for families facing homelessness. By the end of October, the state will be unable to add more units to its emergency shelter system, primarily due to the increasing demand driven by newly arriving migrant families and extended stays of families in emergency shelters.

The state will be limited to accommodating around 7,500 families, equivalent to approximately 24,000 individuals, a capacity they are projected to reach by the end of the month.

As of October 16, almost 7,000 families with children and pregnant women are in emergency shelters, with half of these individuals being children.

Lt. General L. Scott Rice has been designated as the Emergency Assistance Director

Governor Healey has taken several actions in anticipation of this situation. She has appointed Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice as Emergency Assistance Director to lead the management and coordination of the emergency shelter system. Lt. General Rice has a wealth of experience in emergency management and will work closely with various agencies and stakeholders to address the crisis.

Beginning November 1, 2023, the state will no longer add new shelter units, and families seeking shelter will be assessed, with priority given to those with higher needs such as health and safety concerns. Efforts will also be concentrated on helping families who have been in shelter for over 15 months to transition into more permanent housing solutions.

Additionally, the administration will focus on connecting shelter residents with job opportunities, partnering with local businesses, and workforce boards to provide training and employment prospects for shelter residents.

The state’s efforts to address homelessness include legal services, immigrant assistance, and resettlement agency services. The United Way Migrant Relief Fund is also supporting the essential needs of migrant families.

Governor Healey is calling on the federal government to take action in addressing a national issue.

Governor Healey continues to advocate for federal assistance to tackle this issue, with ongoing efforts to secure federal funding and improve the work authorization process. MassHealth is also requesting federal funding for temporary housing assistance and other support for families and pregnant individuals enrolled in MassHealth who are in emergency shelter.

The state of Massachusetts is actively working to address the challenges presented by the increasing number of families facing homelessness, with a focus on providing housing, support, and employment opportunities.



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