Policy Issue

Policy Watch: Passage of the Supplemental State Budget Addresses Emergency Shelter Needs

December 18, 2023

Human service workers placing migrant families in emergency shelter received some relief earlier this month when Governor Healey signed a supplemental budget allocating $250 million towards shelter and support services. 

Massachusetts is the only state in the nation to have a right-to-shelter law, put in place forty years ago to protect low-income families and pregnant women in need of housing. 

The state has been struggling for months to keep up with unsustainable demand from residents and migrant families for emergency housing. Funding from the supplemental budget will provide at least $75 million for school districts absorbing the costs of enrolling children of these families; up to $50 million for developing overflow emergency shelter sites; and at least $5 million for migrant and refugee workforce programs, in addition to costs associated with providing staffing and wraparound services to those in shelter. 

Meanwhile, Governor Healey and leaders from other states continue advocating for more support from the federal government.

To read more about the Supplemental Budget, click here.

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