BOSTON (WHDH) – Migrant families arrived at the State Transportation Building Monday, carrying with them what they could fit into bags and suitcases on the first night after officials announced conference rooms in the downtown Boston building would serve as an overnight shelter.
While state leaders have said the state’s shelter system is at capacity, with no more space to house new arrivals, migrant families have continued to flood into Massachusetts.
Early Monday afternoon, the state’s Emergency Assistance Director explained plans for the transportation building.
“In order to ensure that families eligible for Emergency Assistance shelter have a safe and warm place to sleep at night when there is not a shelter unit immediately available, the administration is utilizing space at 10 Park Plaza as a temporary, overnight facility,” said Gen. Scott Rice.
Crews could be seen making preparations through the afternoon Monday.
7NEWS was then on site at the transportation building as Gov. Maura Healey showed up ahead of the migrants’ arrival.
The shelter at the transportation building is expected to be a short-term shelter, providing space for up to 25 families to stay overnight until a more permanent shelter is found.
While crews continued preparations, MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng addressed an email to MBTA workers, writing “The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the MBTA, in coordination with other state agencies, have stepped up to aid arriving families.”
Crews were seen setting up computers and cell phone charging stations and wheeling in boxes of food and drinks Monday, making the transportation building the latest unconventional spot converted into a shelter for migrants in recent months.
Indeed, the recent surge of migrants has seen people gather at colleges and hotels. Some families have also camped out in the emergency room of Boston Medical Center. Others have spent time at Logan Airport.
“I think that it’s very important that we house these individuals for temporary shelter with the understanding that that’s not sustainable,” said Gladys Vega, a migrant advocate with La Colaborativa, on Monday.
“Taking that action is the right action to take, understanding that it’s just a Band-Aid,” she separately said.
The shelter at the transportation building is only available to families that have been assessed at a state intake site and determined to be eligible for emergency assistance.
The shelter is expected to operate for approximately two weeks.
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