Pilot program for housing migrants and homeless people already settling families

BOSTON — A pilot program to resettle migrants and homeless people now living in hotels and emergency shelters across the state is underway.

“It’s begun. Our agency has found apartments for three families so far,” said Jeffrey Thielman, the President and CEO of the International Institute of New England.

“Our goal is to move 400 families from hotels and shelters into apartments and more permanent housing by the end of the calendar year,” he said.

Resettlement is what Thielman’s agency does. He says the Governor and the legislature formed the pilot program. It consists of:

  • 8 groups
  • Armed with 8 million in funding
  • The goal is to provide housing for 400 families across the state

“One agency is taking 25, one agency is taking 75, the other six are taking 50 each,” said Thielman.

He says the goal is to move families from shelters and integrate them into local communities.

“So that means making sure people have jobs in the communities, making sure people are learning some English, making sure kids are enrolled in schools, the families are placed in health care plans,” said Thielman.

The International Institute of New England covers Greater Boston and Lowell.

And he says with the housing shortage in the Commonwealth the agencies will have to look high and low.

“So, we are going to have to be creative in terms of casting a very broad geographic net. We are going to have to go to parts of the state and parts of the regions we haven’t looked at before. I’m sure,” he said.

If successful, Thielman thinks the Governor will use this pilot program as a model to find permanent housing for homeless and migrants. But it’s a matter of funding and then finding that housing. Two challenges he believes its success will help overcome.

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

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