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HomeGeneralMassachusett Officials Convert Recreational Complex to Shelter to House Migrants

Massachusett Officials Convert Recreational Complex to Shelter to House Migrants

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Governor Maura Healey gives an update to the news media regarding transitioning the Melena Cass Recreation Complex into a shelter for the homeless migrants staying at Logan Airport.
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Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu conducted a walkthrough of the Cass Recreational Complex in Roxbury last Wednesday, just hours before its opening as a temporary shelter for families experiencing homelessness, including migrants.

According to Healey, approximately 75 individuals were expected to arrive at the complex by the end of the day. The facility, situated in Roxbury, can accommodate up to 400 people or around 100-125 families. This initiative comes as the state grapples with a surge in homelessness, particularly among migrant families.

Healey emphasized the necessity of opening such shelters, stating, “We’re here today because we don’t have a choice.” She highlighted the ongoing influx of families into Massachusetts and the imperative to provide support and shelter to those in need.

The Cass Recreational Complex marks Massachusetts’s fourth state-operated overflow family shelter site. The other locations include Revere, Quincy, and Cambridge. Additionally, smaller emergency shelter sites are scattered across approximately 90 communities statewide.

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Presently, individuals utilizing the overflow sites are among the 656 families on a waitlist hoping to access the state’s emergency family shelter program. Healey implemented a cap of 7,500 individuals in the shelter program last year, establishing the waitlist.

Both Healey and Wu, both Democrats, have urged the Biden administration to provide additional assistance in addressing the migrant influx.

Mayor Wu emphasized that Boston is not alone in facing this challenge, noting, “I hear from mayors all around the country regularly.” She stressed the need for comprehensive federal action to address the systemic issues contributing to the crisis.

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Regarding the Roxbury site, Healey assured that it would be a temporary solution, with families expected to vacate the premises before June. She confirmed plans to relocate programs at the center to nearby venues and announced renovations to the complex. Additionally, the state will collaborate with local businesses to provide essential services at the shelter site.

The decision to repurpose the Cass Recreational Complex received mixed reactions from the Roxbury community. While some expressed concerns about the displacement of programs vital to the community, others recognized the importance of providing a safe and dignified shelter option for homeless families, especially compared to alternatives like sleeping in airports.

ALSO READ: Chicago Shelter System in Shambles as Migrants Dig Through Trash for Food While Living in Buses

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Meanwhile, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced an extension of the city’s 60-day limit on shelter stays for asylum seekers in Chicago. The move aims to provide individuals with additional time to resettle and find employment.

Asylum seekers in Chicago, including those temporarily housed at O’Hare International Airport, will benefit from an extended timeframe as they navigate the challenges of securing stable housing.

As the homelessness crisis persists, cities and states across the country are implementing measures to address the immediate needs of vulnerable populations while advocating for broader systemic solutions to combat homelessness and housing insecurity.

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