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This action comes as a result of the state of emergency declared earlier this month due to rapidly rising numbers of migrant families arriving in Massachusetts, requiring the state's emergency shelter system to expand in an unsustainable manner. Currently, there are more than 6,000 families, including children and pregnant women, in emergency shelters across the state.
"Massachusetts is in a state of emergency, and we need all hands-on deck to meet this moment and ensure families have access to safe shelter and basic services," said Governor Healey. "We're grateful to the brave men and women of the National Guard for stepping up to help us ensure that every family in emergency shelter has their needs met, including access to food, transportation, medical care, and education. While we work to implement a more permanent staffing solution, the National Guard will provide an efficient and effective means of delivering these services and keeping everybody safe."
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Lieutenant Governor Driscoll added: "This National Guard activation is a necessary step to ensure that families in emergency shelter have access to the services they need to stay safe and healthy. This is an emergency measure that will help us meet immediate needs while we continue to advocate for assistance from the federal government in the form of streamlined work authorizations and funding."
Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe from The Adjutant General Massachusetts National Guard stated: "We are committed to being Always Ready and Always There for the residents of Massachusetts. Our role in the response to the ongoing housing crisis will expand to leverage our multitude of robust and adaptable capabilities in emergency and domestic operations to help those in need."
The activation by Governor Healey will help ensure that families placed in hotels have access each National Guard member assigned will be assigned with a specific hotel shelter site where they will facilitate onsite coordination of services such as food, basic needs, transportation, medical care delivered by external vendors or community organizations or state/local government agencies such as school districts for enrolling children into schools that meet their educational needs.
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The Regional Rapid Response Teams created by Governor Healey are staffed by state employees tasked with overseeing sites within a given geographic region so as better coordinate services while serving as central points of contact within administration for any issues or concerns related thereto such as preparing sites for opening or arranging connection with public benefits etcetera .
The Governor has appealed for assistance from federal government with streamlining work authorizations & funding & last week she met with Department Of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding same . The administration & City Of Boston recently received $1 .9 million grant from FEMA towards supporting shelter services .
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