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Massachusetts Announces Work Authorization Clinic for Migrants as Shelters Near Capacity

BOSTON – Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey’s administration announced new help Monday for migrant families in Massachusetts as shelters in the state approach capacity.

Healey said starting November 13, the state, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, will be hosting a work authorization clinic.

They will organize appointments and provide transportation to the clinic for migrants staying in emergency shelters to help them support their families and move into more stable housing options.

“We are glad that the Biden-Harris Administration is hosting this clinic with us, which will help process work authorizations as efficiently as possible. Many shelter residents want to work but face significant barriers to getting their work authorizations,” Healey said in a statement. “This clinic will be critical for building on the work that our administration has already been leading to connect more migrants with work opportunities, which will help them support their families and move out of emergency shelter into more stable housing options.” 

Healey said earlier this month that the state’s emergency shelters are “on the verge of reaching capacity” as an influx of migrant families have been arriving in the state.  

Massachusetts emergency assistance director Lt. General Scott Rice said that as of Monday, there are 7,319 families in emergency shelter. Eligible families will continue to be provided with shelter, the state said, but when the system reaches 7,500 families a wait list will be created.

Rice said the shelters are expected to reach capacity “imminently.” 

“We are committed to ensuring that families know about resources available to them while we prioritize helping long-term shelter residents exit into more stable housing options and connecting them with work opportunities,” Rice said in a statement on Monday. “The Healey-Driscoll Administration continues to call on the federal government to act to address this federal problem, especially when it comes to the need for a large-scale, overflow site for families to stay until a shelter unit becomes available.” 

The governor issued a state of emergency in August about as the number of migrants seeking shelter continues to rise at a time when the cost of housing – already in short supply – continues to soar.

Source : CBSNews