BOSTON (WWLP) – On Tuesday, Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency due to emergency shelters reaching capacity.
The Governor says that the state can’t keep up with the number of migrants headed to the Bay State, and the emergency shelter system is being pushed to the brink with new arrivals. There are almost 5,600 families and over 20,000 migrants in state shelters, 80% higher than this time last year.
Healey is calling on the federal government for help, pointing mostly to the need to expedite work visas so new arrivals can work. The administration is also asking residents to help out. Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll on Tuesday asked private citizens to open their homes to help with the crisis.
“If you have an extra room, or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family,” implored Driscoll. “Safe housing and shelter is our most pressing need. Become a sponsor family. You can contact the Brazilian Workers Center for more information on how you can step up if you’re willing to have an additional family be part of your family.”
This crisis is also costing the state millions of dollars. In Healey’s letter to the federal government, she stated that the crisis is currently costing the state $45 million per month on programs to assist these families.
On Wednesday, the governor signed off on the fiscal year 2024 budget and allocated $324 million to the emergency assistance family shelter program. 22News contacted the Governor’s office to find out where that $45 million a month is coming from however, they have not responded at this time.
WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.