Migrant Influx Fills Hotels, Strains State Shelter Capacity

By Alison Kuznitz

BOSTON (State House News Service) – A triage center in Allston for migrants and people experiencing homelessness remains the only such facility to be opened so far by the Healey administration, even as officials for nearly a month have pledged more sites will open soon.

Immigration and refugee resettlement advocates say the Family Welcome Center, which launched above the Brazilian Worker Center on June 23, plays a critical role in referring people to emergency shelter options and providing them with basic needs, such as food and baby formula. But they’re also imploring state officials to outline their broader strategy to respond to the swelling volume of migrants coming to Massachusetts looking for shelter — and assistance to be able to work and support themselves here.

“I think this is definitely a step in the right direction, that this welcome center is open to everyone, it’s open after hours,” Andrea Park, director of community driven advocacy at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, said. “I think what we’re seeing is a problem of scale. The numbers in need don’t match the ability and resources of at least one welcome center.”

The Allston center is open from 12-8 p.m. daily and connects families to health services, a Healey administration official said. Eligible individuals are also enrolled in MassHealth, Department of Transitional Assistance programs, the Women, Infants and Child Nutrition program, and other resources.

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Source – WBZ News

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