Massachusetts Officials Seek Host Families for Illegal Immigrants
BOSTON — Massachusetts officials are making a plea to residents willing to offer shelter for newly arrived families in desperate need of housing even though they are here illegally. The state is asking individuals to provide a room or apartment for a brief period until more permanent solutions are found. A substantial number of these families are fresh immigrants, many of whom have escaped turmoil in Haiti before reaching Boston through various states.
Massachusetts Gov Declares State of Emergency, tells residents to 'consider hosting' illegal immigrants in their HOMES.— TaraBull (@TaraBull808) August 12, 2023
Should she host them in hers, too? pic.twitter.com/63Iec0U9G1
The state’s recent initiative to engage host families is part of a broader effort to increase the shelter capacity in response to the surge in homeless families. The newly established Family Welcome Center in Allston is responsible for recruiting and training potential host families and then matching them with families in dire need.
Karissa Hand, the press secretary for the Healey administration, stated that this approach isn’t entirely new. “Historically, Resettlement Agencies and other volunteers have taken on this practice to support newcomers,” Hand commented.
The strategy of using host families has been traditionally employed for refugees through State Department programs and unaccompanied minors needing shelter. Kelly Turley, associate director of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, stressed that this tactic hasn’t been widely implemented for homeless families before. “The urgency of the current situation has necessitated this layer of host homes,” she added.
Nevertheless, Turley emphasizes that this is a temporary solution. Stable long-term housing is crucial for the welfare of the newly arrived immigrants. The problem Americans face is that hosting illegals could become the new normal. The ethical and societal concerns run deep with people who hold firm American values.
Questions about the host vetting process and home safety checks remain unanswered by the state. However, local aid groups confirm that several families have been placed in host homes since the Family Welcome Center’s inauguration in late June.
No financial compensation is provided to host families.
Geralde Gabeau, executive director of the Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI), voiced her support for the initiative.
Recent housing price surges, the termination of pandemic eviction safeguards, and the influx of migrant families have overwhelmed the state-run family shelter system. Gabeau revealed that IFSI encounters about 40 newly arrived families daily.
The demand for family shelter has peaked unprecedentedly. Around 4,800 households are currently availing the state’s Emergency Assistance shelter, including nearly 1,000 in overflow placements in hotels and motels since 2023 began.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below…