Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey has activated 250 members of the National Guard to provide basic services at emergency shelter hotels amid an influx of migrants that has service providers stretched thin.
Healey’s administration will also launch a Regional Rapid Response Teams to assist with overseeing shelter sites, she announced Thursday. The teams will be comprised of state employees.
The move comes after she declared a state of emergency this month over the increasing number of migrants arriving in Massachusetts from Texas.
“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,” Healey said in a statement “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.”
Currently, more than 6,000 migrant families are in emergency shelters across the state.
The National Guard members will provide basic service at shelters that don’t have a contracted service provider. Each member will be assigned to a specific shelter site beginning next week where will be responsible for facilitating services provided by the state and local government, vendors and community organizations.
That also includes assisting school districts with enrolling in school.
“We are committed to being Always Ready and Always There for the residents of Massachusetts,” said Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe, the Adjutant General for the Massachusetts National Guard.
“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,” he added.