Cape Cod military base opening as a shelter site as state expands services for homeless families

CAPE COD — A Cape Cod military base will open as a shelter as the state expands services for homeless families, the Healey administration said Friday.

The shelter at Joint Base Cape Cod will work to connect families, especially migrant families, with basic necessities to meet “a rising need.”

As of Friday, June 23, JBCC will be able to house 16 families and could eventually expand to 60 families, the governor’s office said in a statement.

A Family Welcome Center also opened in Allston Friday to help transport families down the Cape. Healey said she hopes to open similar facilities in the future.

“In Massachusetts, we are committed to ensuring that families have access to safe and secure shelter. Over the past year, we’ve seen a steady rise in shelter demand due to the rising cost of housing, more families arriving in our nation and our state from other countries, and delayed federal work authorizations. Our administration has been working hard to meet this unprecedented need and use every resource at our disposal to help families,” said Healey in a statement. “We will continue working across our administration and with local and federal partners on long-term solutions to this crisis.”

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts National Guard are working to assemble the 60 townhouse-style homes for families. The homes feature furnished accommodations with space for recreation. MEMA will also work to establish a regular shuttle service to transport individuals to local community resources.

Fifty members of the Massachusetts National Guard will also be at the base for security and to assist state and local authorities.

The Family Welcome Center in Allston will be located at the Brazilian Worker Center on Harvard Avenue. Staff members will assess families for eligibility before coordinating transportation to JBCC.

“I think it will be very helpful,” said Lenita Reason, who is the Executive Director of the Brazilian Worker Center in Allston.

Photos of the townhouses at Joint Base Cape Cod:

Last year a plane filled with migrants from Florida made a surprise landing on Martha’s Vineyard. The people were eventually housed at JBCC.

The influx of homeless migrants has been growing. In May Boston 25 showed you Haitian migrants with no place to go spending the night at Boston Medical Center….

Jeff Theilman, the CEO of the International Institute of New England, tells Boston 25 he expected this especially after Title 42 expired.

“There will be a surge of immigrants and other folks in Massachusetts particularly coming into in the Boston area,” said Thielman.

Right now, the Healey Administration tells Boston 25 that in just the last two weeks roughly 20 families a day have entered the shelter system.

In March, Healeu signed a law dedicated $85 million to the Emergency Assistance program to meet the growing number of families, migrants, and refugees facing homelessness.

The Governor’s Office says all immediate needs of sheltered clients are being met through existing programs and organizations.

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