Amid an influx of illegal immigrants due to Biden’s border policies, Massachusetts officials are turning to residents for help.
Democrat Gov. Maura Healey’s administration is asking those in the commonwealth “to provide a room or apartment for a few days” to host “newly arrived families in need of shelter,” WBUR reports.
The host family model has historically been used to house refugees coming through State Department programs as well as help support unaccompanied minors in need of shelter. However, homeless advocates say it has not been broadly applied to family homelessness in the past.
“The addition of this layer — of adding in host homes — really seems to be because of the urgency and current unmet needs,” said Kelly Turley, associate director of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. “This is something that they could get online very quickly if host families and hosts come forward.”
However, Turley warned that this should be a stopgap measure rather than a lasting solution. “We know that longer-term shelter and permanent housing would better meet the stability, safety, and service needs of newly arrived immigrants,” Turley said.
The state did not immediately respond to requests for information about the vetting process for hosts, and whether there are site visits to assess the safety of host's home. The state also did not provide information about how many families have been paired with hosts since the Family Welcome Center opened in late June. Local aid groups tell WBUR that several families have gone to host homes.
Advocates briefed on the program said host families are not compensated financially, but they are provided with things like gift cards, groceries and baby formula to help support the family that’s being hosted. (WBUR)
The request to residents comes as Massachusetts is paying for dozens of hotels and motels to house border crossers on the taxpayer’s dime.
So far, however, wealthy residents of Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Brookline, and Cambridge, for example, have not had to face the effects of the border crisis, as Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr pointed out.
“The Healey administration has released a list of the 28 cities and towns where it is spending millions on hotels and motels for thousands of handout-demanding illegals arriving from the Third World,” Carr wrote in a recent column. “Oddly, however, almost all the ultra-affluent suburban communities most loudly committed to celebrating diversity have thus far been unable to provide suitable free housing for the new non-working classes.”