BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts communities have been feeling the pinch of the migrant crisis.
Massachusetts has had a dramatic increase in those seeking emergency shelter, but the Governor said Monday the state will no longer be able to guarantee housing by the end of the month.
Massachusetts is a right to shelter state, so the state has to guarantee homeless families access to emergency shelter. The governor was adamant that she is not ending the right to shelter but is simply saying that there will not be room for incoming migrant and homeless families.
“Everybody who is eligible will remain eligible, we are not changing right to shelter law whatsoever, we are telling the public – clearly though – that we are reaching capacity here in the state, we need federal assistance, we need federal sites, we need federal staffing, and we need federal funding,” said Governor Healey.
As of Monday there are nearly 7,000 families in emergency shelter, about half the individuals in shelter are children. The Governor says the state will only be able to accommodate about 500 more families.
Senator Ryan Fattman believes the right to shelter law needs to be examined and at the very least, suspended, “For her to come out today and say, ‘well we’re running out of room,’ Yeah, no kidding… but the law still remains and if we don’t follow the law, eventually, probably the federal government will take us to court. So we need to change the law, so we can get control of the situation and stop the crisis that the Commonwealth has created.”
Just last week, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security team came to Massachusetts to examine the ongoing crisis. Along with funding, Healey continues to call on the federal government for expedited work permits so migrants can start making a living, and transition out of emergency shelter.
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