World News

Boston Mayor Wu says migrant shelter almost at capacity just over a week after opening

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the overflow site for migrant families at a Massachusetts recreation center has quickly filled up — just over a week since the site opened. 

The 400-person capacity at the Melnea A. Cass Recreational Complex in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood quickly filled up with migrants seeking shelter, Wu said Wednesday on the local podcast, “Java with Jimmy.”

The community center was converted to a migrant shelter on Jan. 31, and has already reached near-capacity as migrants have been transported from other temporary housing situations across the state.

MASSACHUSETTS CLOSES COMMUNITY CENTER TO PUBLIC TO SHELTER MIGRANTS, PROMPTING BACKLASH

Michelle Wu speaks

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu (AP Photo/Mary Schwal/File)

“This whole situation is a temporary spot,” Wu said. “I think the state heard loud and clear that the pool is necessary for the community, for all the multi-generational activity that happens in the neighborhood.”

Melnea Cass Recreation Center

The Melnea A. Cass Recreation Complex has been closed to Roxbury residents since being converted into a shelter for illegal migrants. (Melnea Cass Recreation Center/Facebook)

The Democrat mayor said that 75 migrant children were registered with the Boston Public Schools, with the students being placed in special “cohorts.”

COMMUNITY LEADERS SAYS BOSTON ‘PASSING THE BUCK’ TO MINORITY AREAS AS MIGRANTS RELOCATED TO REC CENTER

The cohorts aimed to provide the migrant children with “extra dedicated resources around multilingual learning,” Wu said.

Maura Healey

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images/File)

Massachusetts Democrat Gov. Maura Healey has committed to closing the site by May 31, after the state faced sharp criticism from the Roxbury community.

City Council member Tania Fernandes Anderson, who represents the area where the Melnea Cass Center is located, said many residents feel displaced by the governor’s decision.

“The constituents have been stating loud and clear, ‘You are displacing us,’” Anderson said.

migrants at Logan Airport

Migrants sleep on the floor at Logan International Airport in Boston, Mass., as the state’s shelters remain at capacity.  (WBZ)

Despite the community’s response, Healey has said that the decision to move migrants into the recreation center was “just born out of necessity” as other facilities in the state that have served as housing shelters, including Logan International Airport, have become overwhelmed. 

Massachusetts is a right-to-shelter state, where under law it is required to provide shelter for homeless families.

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“We just have to do what we have to do at this time,” she said.

Fox News Digital reached out to the governor’s office, but did not immediately receive a response.

Fox News Digital’s Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.

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