Massachusetts turns recreational complex into shelter for homeless families, including migrants


Boston (AP) – Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu toured a recreational complex on Wednesday, hours ahead of its planned opening as a temporary shelter for families experiencing homelessness, including immigrants.

About 75 people were expected at the Cass Recreational Complex, located in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood, before the end of the day, Healy said. The complex can provide temporary shelter to 400 people or about 100-125 families, as the state grapples with an influx of homeless migrants.

“We are here today because we really have no choice,” he said. “Families continue to come to this country, continue to come to Massachusetts, and we have opened locations throughout the state over the last several months.”

There are currently three large state-run overflow family shelters. The location will be the fourth in Roxbury, one of the city’s traditionally black neighborhoods.

Others are located in Revere (150 rooms), Quincy (57 rooms) and Cambridge, which can house 200 people or about 57 families.

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Those using the overflow sites are among the 656 families who are currently on a waiting list hoping to get into the state’s emergency family shelter program. Healy last year limited the number of people in the shelter program to 7,500 and created a waiting list.

Boston is not alone, Wu said.

“I hear from mayors across the country on a regular basis. “I have spoken twice over the past few days to every level of government about the stress and challenges of this crisis for migrant families in need of services, shelter and homes,” he said.

“The federal machinery needs a lot of reform,” he said. “This needs action and has been needed for decades.”

Healy said the Roxbury site is temporary and families will be out before June. He said the programs being held at the center would be moved to other nearby locations and the complex would be renovated. He also said the state will rely on local businesses to provide some of the services needed to run the shelter.

“I am grateful to the Roxbury community,” Healy said.

People in the neighborhood had mixed reactions to the new shelter.

City Council candidate and community activist, 56-year-old Clifton A. Braithwaite said he is concerned about seniors and others who rely on the center’s programs as a place to meet and exercise.

“I don’t know if his plan will work for immigrants or Boston citizens,” he said. “But one thing I do know, closing a functional building that serves the people of this community for three months is a tragedy, because where are they going to go?”

Audra White, 41, who lives around the corner from the recreational complex, said she was troubled when she returned from vacation in September and saw homeless migrants and their children sleeping on the floor at Logan International Airport.

“Logan Airport is not a place to have people living in the hallways,” he said. “In the cas, there are showers, there are bathrooms. People can actually wash,” he said, referring to Cass Recreational Complex.

“If the choices are Logan or Cass, I think Cass is the better choice,” she said.

In Chicago, Mayor Brandon Johnson has announced that the city will again extend its 60-day limit on shelter stays for asylum seekers, days before a deadline that could have allowed nearly 2,000 migrants to be expelled.

Johnson said on Monday that the idea Give people more time to rehabilitate Find more work. The policy change adds 30 to 60 days to the roughly 14,000 migrants already living in the city’s 28 shelters, which include warehouses and park district buildings.

about 800 asylum seekers live temporarily At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, sleeping on the floor and cots in a shuttle bus center. Some people stay there for several weeks while they wait for beds in one of the city’s 28 shelters or can make other arrangements. chicago daily Overseas Dashboard As of Wednesday, 128 people were still alive in O’Hare.

Associated Press reporter Sophia Tareen contributed to this report from Chicago.

Copyright 2024 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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