Massachusetts’ shelter system is reaching capacity, threatening the state’s ability to fulfil its ‘right-to-shelter’ law, says Gov. Maura Healey (The Berkshire Eagle)

Below is an excerpt from an article The Berkshire Eagle published on October 17, drawing attention to the consequences of Massachusetts’ overfilling state shelter system. Massachusetts Law Reform Institutes’ Andrea Park is quoted. 

While its right-to-shelter law will remain in place, Massachusetts may not be able to guarantee shelter for immigrant families as soon as the end of this month as the state’s shelter system reaches capacity, Gov. Maura Healey said Monday.

There are close to 7,000 families enrolled in the state’s emergency shelter system, Healey said Monday — more than double the number of individuals enrolled at this time last year, and up significantly from the 5,600 families being housed when Healey declared a state of emergency in August.

“We do not have enough space, service providers or funds to safely expand beyond 7,500 families. We expect to hit that limit at the end of the month,” Healey said during a State House news conference. “From that point on, we’ll no longer be able to guarantee shelter placement for new families entering.”

At over 23,000 people, the rapidly growing number of people in emergency shelter housing has now exceeded the population of 262 of the 351 municipalities in Massachusetts, based on 2020 census data.

Read more at The Berkshire Eagle.