BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Maura Healey announced that the state’s shelter system is nearing capacity and won’t be able to accept any more people soon.

For months now, the state shelter system has been expanding at unsustainable rates to accommodate homeless and migrant families. The administration is now focused on moving people out of emergency shelters to make room for those who need help.

There are currently close to 7,000 families in emergency shelter across the state, that’s more than 23,000 people. Healey announced Monday that the state will likely reach capacity by the end of the month.

Governor Healey has appointed Southampton resident Lt. General Leon Scott Rice as Emergency Assistance Director, he will oversee management and coordination of the emergency shelter system.

To make room for those who need housing, the governor is putting into place what she is calling “exit strategies.”

“We are also taking steps to help families exit from shelter, we have families who have been in shelter for well over a year. The more we can do to help them find their own footing, the quicker we can reduce demand on state and local resources, and free up space for other families,” said Healey.

The administration has also announced the launch of two new programs to get shelter residents working. The first will help develop new job skills and will connect businesses to individuals who are waiting for work permits. The second will connect career centers to shelter sites with the purpose of assessing skills and work readiness for those with work permits.

The governor called upon the federal government once again for work authorizations, saying this is a federal problem that requires a federal solution.

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