On August 8, 2023, MA Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency to seek Federal Government assistance in providing shelter for the great number of homeless and migrant families and individuals in MA. Already burdened homeless shelters cannot keep up with the dramatic growing need. Amidst a shortage of affordable housing and rising housing costs, a sharp influx of migrants are continuing to arrive in our State seeking refuge from violence and political turmoil, and searching for better economic opportunity for their family.
According to an article in the Boston Globe, it is hoped that this emergency declaration will prompt federal assistance and allow for a swift expansion of emergency housing options. The situation is so dire that State leaders are hoping for disaster relief funding for emergency housing from the President. The Governor, State leaders and advocates are seeking solutions to keep in line with the 1983 Massachusetts “right-to-shelter” law, which prompts immediate action to support unhoused families. Currently these families are being provided access to hotel shelters. Unfortunately, the safety and security of these shelters can be compromised by overcrowding and lack of staff supervision.
In order to address this emergency situation long term, the State administration will have to more aggressively address the difficult issues of high living costs, lack of low-income housing, and high poverty rates in cities.
Lend A Hand Society plays a key role in mitigating this housing crisis by providing emergency assistance to prevent eviction of families and individuals in MA and helping them to avoid the already under-resourced and over burdened State shelter system. Click here to donate and help make a difference in the lives of those who are homeless in the Greater Boston area.