State Transportation Building in Boston will house migrant families as emergency shelter


The Massachusetts State Transportation Building in Boston will be used as an emergency shelter for migrants arriving in the state, state officials confirmed Monday.
The building, located at 10 Park Plaza, is a headquarters for the MBTA and other state transportation operations. But starting Monday, it will become a short-term shelter for up to 25 families as the state continues to grapple with an emergency shelter system that is maxed out at 7,500 families.
“In order to ensure that families eligible for Emergency Assistance shelter have a safe and warm place to sleep at night when there is not a shelter unit immediately available, the administration is utilizing space at 10 Park Plaza as a temporary, overnight facility,” state Emergency Assistance Director General Scott Rice said in a statement Monday.
The shelter is expected to remain open for two weeks, officials added. It will be set up by the Massachusetts National Guard in second-floor conference rooms.
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With Massachusetts’ emergency shelter system reaching capacity, more migrants are turning to Logan airport.
The Healey administration said the space will only be used in the evenings and overnight. It is only available to families who have been determined eligible for emergency assistance.
MBTA General Manager Phil Eng said in a letter to employees that he does not expect any disruptions to the work environment during the holiday week. He said the agency is considering launching a clothing drive for the families, but were still assessing the needs.
The state is looking for long-term solutions to the shelter crisis as an influx of migrant families continues to arrive. Massachusetts has a “right-to-shelter” law that requires it to house families in need, but the system is at capacity and families are being forced onto a waitlist. Gov. Maura Healey has been calling on the federal government for more assistance and has requested further funding on the state level.
State lawmakers had been debating how to allocate $250 million in additional funds for the shelter system last week, but failed to reach an agreement before the deadline.


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