The state’s shelters are reaching capacity and now the governor is asking residents to help by opening their doors. That was part of Governor Maura Healey’s announcement--as she also is looking for help from the federal government.
The governor said anywhere between 10 to 30 migrant families a day are coming into Massachusetts. There are 40 hotels across the state helping to house them, but the governor is now pleading for help from the federal government—as well as you.
Governor Healey says close to 5,600 families are currently housed in the state’s emergency shelter system. That number is 80% higher than one year ago. Massachusetts is the only state in the country with a right-to-shelter law that guarantees homeless families access to emergency shelters. She says Massachusetts has been spending around $45 million a month to help assist these families. The situation is so bad, the Healey administration is now asking people to open their homes and businesses to help people in need.
“Most importantly, if you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family. Housing and shelter is our most pressing need and become a sponsor family,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.
Paul Craney, the President of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, is a first generation American who understands what migrant families are going through, but he believes the focus should be on securing the borders.
“At some point, we also have to have compassion for the people that are here,” said Paul Craney. “If Massachusetts can’t care for the people that are currently here, then why should we bring in more people in the state.”
Governor Healey is hoping the emergency declaration will provide more federal funding, and expedite work permits for immigrants. New York state has also declared a state of emergency, as well as the cities of Chicago, El Paso and Washington, DC.
The governor’s administration also announced it created a migrant families relief fund. It’s a coordinated effort with the local United Way to raise private donations.
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