Governor of Massachusetts Maura Healey has acknowledged that family shelters in the state are at capacity but said she will not end a policy that guarantees newcomers a place to stay.
The state’s emergency family shelter system will be full by the end of October 2023, TimCast reported. The system was of course intended to assist homeless families. However, the flow of illegal immigration in the state has pushed the shelters to their capacity, with thousands looking for homes.
The state estimated that there will be 7,500 families in shelters totaling 24,000 individuals through October 2023. Despite the obvious crippling of the system, Governor Healey says the state will not stop taking people in but simply cannot find them all housing.
“We are not ending the right-to-shelter law,” the governor said at a press conference. “We are being very clear, though, that we are not going to be able to guarantee placement for folks who are sent here after the end of this month,” she added.
“For months now, we have been expanding shelter capacity at an unsustainable rate to meet rising demand,” Healey continued in a statement. “Despite the heroic work of public officials, shelter providers, and the National Guard, we have reached a point where we can no longer safely or responsibly expand. … We will continue to help families exit shelter and move into more permanent housing options, connect those who are eligible with work opportunities to support their families, and advocate for the federal government to step up and address this federal problem.”
In November 2023, the state will stop adding new shelters and move to a prioritization system in which families who are considered to be “high need” are placed first.
The state planned a launch of two new programs, as well, seemingly for both illegal immigrants and those who are authorized to work.
The first is a job skills program aimed at those who are “still waiting for their work authorization but are looking to gain on-the-job training and skills development.”
The second program is to identify the types of skills and “work readiness” of those with work authorization.
In addition to free work programs for illegal immigrants, Massachusetts declared that the immigrants can apply for driver’s licenses as of July 2023. The Registry of Motor Vehicles said after the announcement that it expected approximately 100,000 new customers booking road tests.
It was noted that the licenses could not be used out of state or to vote. Applicants needed proof of identity/date of birth, proof of residence, and a Social Security number. If they had no Social Security number, they simply could submit a form that declared they were never issued one.
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