Families could face removal from Mass. emergency shelters starting Sept. 29

Notices will go out to about 150 families in July, giving them 90 days to find alternative housing

Families living in the Massachusetts emergency shelter system will begin receiving notice to leave starting in July, giving some families a deadline to move out by Sept. 29, the Healey administration said Wednesday.

The notice comes as part of the new nine-month cap on the length of a stay for families in the system, which was approved by lawmakers in April. The Emergency Assistance Family Shelter System, or EA, is intended to support families with children or pregnant women experiencing hopelessness. State officials say they have seen an influx of migrant families seeking support, overwhelming the system.



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Families already in the system will receive notice that their benefits are expiring starting in July. The notice will give them 90 days to find new housing or apply for an extension. This means families may be kicked out of the system starting on Sept. 29.

The Healey administration said about 150 families will be affected by the first round of notices.

Extensions will be considered based on a range of factors including employment, training program participation, veteran status, disability status, school enrollment, imminent risk of harm due to domestic violence, or imminent placement in housing. For the full guidance, click here.

The system has been at its capacity of 7,500 families since last summer, with hundreds more on a waitlist. The Healey administration noted that they have been working to support those who rely on the system through various programs, including a focus on work authorizations, job training and placement and English classes for those with a language barrier.

According to the governor's office, since November 2023, the state has worked with 3,716 immigrants to apply for work authorization and expects that the vast majority were approved. There are 1,063 immigrants enrolled in the English classes, and 1,114 residents have found jobs in the past few months.

State officials also noted that the number of families leaving the system has been steadily increasing, with 331 families leaving in May.

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