WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Healey said earlier Monday that the state’s emergency shelter system is about to reach its maximum capacity, by the end of the month.
Massachusetts is close to running out of rooms at emergency shelters. The capacity clock is ticking, by the end of this month, the state’s emergency shelter system is expected to reach its maximum limit. Governor Maura Healey called on Congress to act quickly.
Congressman Richard Neal stated, “I think that this week I’ve organized a meeting with Secretary Mayorkas, he’s going to meet with the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, I’m gonna chair that meeting, and I think Governor Healey is correct.”
According to Healey, the state’s emergency family shelter system has been expanding at an unsustainable rate to meet rising demand driven by increasing numbers of newly arriving migrant families and slower exits of families in long-term emergency shelter stays. She says they will be unable to accommodate more than 7,500 families or 24,000 individuals.
Currently, there are nearly 7,000 families with children in emergency shelters in the state. About half of the individuals in emergency shelters are children. That number also includes pregnant women.
The town of West Springfield, is one of the communities helping house migrants, Mayor Will Reichelt told us they’ve stabled at around 100 families, “While we are reaching capacity, there is still talk that we are not going to turn anyone away so it a bit confusing that if we reach capacity, where are folks going to go?”
As the only right-to-shelter state in the country, Massachusetts has been working hard to get everyone who ends up in the state a safe place to live.
Governor Healey says they prioritize helping families who have been in shelter long-term to exit into more permanent housing options. The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition is calling on the state to approve more shelter funding and for Congress to pass immigration reform that allows immigrants to work.
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