BMC staff instructed to send away migrant families seeking shelter in hospital lobby

BOSTON — Boston Medical Center is no longer allowing unhoused migrant families to seek shelter in the hospital lobby.

A spokesperson told Boston 25 News it comes as the migrant crisis is becoming unmanageable at the hospital.

“Boston Medical Center appreciates the work done by the Healey Administration to provide additional resources for displaced, unhoused, migrant families seeking shelter in the Commonwealth,” a BMC spokesperson told Boston 25 News in a statement. “Our teams have worked together for months on different approaches to help these families. Despite this, the collective actions do not yet meet the size of the crisis.”

Last Wednesday alone, workers told the Boston Globe more than 100 migrants showed up seeking shelter.A viewer sent Boston 25 News video two months ago showing families, women, and children with suitcases sitting in the lobby at BMC.

At the time, the executive director of the local group Immigrant Family Services Institute said they didn’t have the resources to place these migrants in housing.

“BMC has recently experienced its highest numbers of unhoused migrant families seeking shelter at our hospital since this crisis began,” the BMC spokesperson said. “To ensure we can continue to fulfill our obligation as a healthcare provider for the communities we serve and ensure the safety of unhoused families, BMC has notified the City and State that we will actively manage the number of unhoused individuals that can wait in the hospital.”According to the spokesperson, if the migrants show up after state resources have closed for the day, BMC staff are now being instructed to send them to the home of a family member, a church, or to the address of the last place they slept.

Massachusetts is a “right-to-shelter” state, meaning the government is obligated to provide shelter to many eligible homeless individuals, including migrants.

Boston 25 News has reached out to the governor’s office for their reaction to the situation at BMC and to learn how they are supporting migrant families. We are still waiting to hear back.

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

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