Local group says they’re here to help as emergency migrant shelters reach maximum capacity

QUINCY, Mass. — State emergency shelters are at max capacity. The state now says the only option for arriving migrants is a waitlist. And that concerns people who help resettle migrants.

“We’re not really sure what to do. To be honest we don’t have a clear plan. The direction from the state is not clear,” said Jeff Thielman who is the CEO of the International Institute of New England.

He says their expertise is resettling migrants and he is worried migrants will be left out in the cold as winter draws closer.

“We certainly don’t want them to be homeless and we don’t want children and families on Boston Common sleeping there,” said Thielman.

He has met with state officials and knows Governor Maura Healey is doing all she can to get funding from the Feds.

Governor Healey says the state’s shelters reached capacity on Thursday saying:

  • 7,517 families are currently staying in the state’s emergency shelters.
  • Starting Friday all families looking for shelter will be put on the wait list.
  • The state says those who have immediate safety or medical risks will be put higher on the list.

“We will continue to provide resources to families, food, clothing access to info about alternate shelter,” said Healey.

And the governor says the Feds will be here Monday to help process work authorization.

“If people are working they’re going to be exiting shelters that much quicker,” said the governor.

Thielman says that’s where his organization can help, but money is needed to fund that crucial step.

“Resettlement agencies have expertise with funding and getting people out of those hotels and into more permanent situations,” he said.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Ron Mariano said that the vast Hynes Convention Center in Boston is being discussed as a potential overflow shelter site.

In August, Healey declared a state of emergency due to the rapid rise in migrant families entering the state.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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