Massachusetts Sparks Outrage After Shutting Community Center for Migrant Shelter

( — Massachusetts officials are facing heavy outrage from Boston residents after they decided to close a community center to use it as a temporary shelter for migrants. The decision originated from Governor Maura Healey, who said that the community center’s closing stemmed from necessity due to other facilities throughout Massachusetts already closing their doors to the state’s citizens. Among the facilities that Massachusetts officials repurposed into migrant housing shelters is the Logan Airport, which Healey said is “overwhelmed” by the growing migrant population.

Despite Healey’s argument that the community center’s repurposing is necessary, Boston’s city officials and residents aren’t convinced. Many Boston citizens expressed their outrage at the decision and openly criticized Healey for taking the community center away from Boston residents to provide care for people who’d only recently entered the United States. One resident said the decision also negatively impacts Boston’s youth, as the city’s young children already suffer from a lack of resources.

Boston’s mayor, Michelle Wu, agreed with her city’s residents and openly disagreed with Healey’s decision. Wu clarified that the migrant crisis had few alternatives but described the community center repurposing as “painful” nonetheless. Wu addressed the situation during an interview on Radio Boston, a program hosted by WBUR. During her interview, Wu said the community of Roxbury has a history of facing a lack of funding and neglect from state officials, citing the community center closing as another example.

Wu also said that the decision to close the community center in favor of a temporary housing shelter is indicative of an ongoing crisis, as the state’s government is actively removing assets from the public’s use to provide resources for migrants. Authorities have already closed the Melnea Cass Recreation Center, and worker crews are preparing the facility with various supplies to convert the building into a functioning migrant shelter.

However, Healey’s plan isn’t permanent, and the facility should resume normal operations in June. Lieutenant General Scott Rice, the Emergency Assistance Director for Massachusetts, expressed the state’s desire for cooperation between state and city officials to address the ongoing migrant crisis. Despite Rice’s hopes for collaboration, Boston residents are vocal about the lack of support for Healey’s temporary migrant housing solution.

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