Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Provides Update Regarding Emergency Shelter Operations at Joint Base Cape Cod

For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
  • Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
  • Massachusetts National Guard
  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Provides Update Regarding Emergency Shelter Operations at Joint Base Cape Cod

Elaine Driscoll, Director of Communications and Policy

BarnstableToday, the Baker-Polito Administration announced an update regarding migrants sheltering temporarily at Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC). On September 16, 2022, 49 people transitioned to JBCC for shelter and humanitarian support after arriving unexpectedly at Martha’s Vineyard on September 14, 2022.

Currently, 35 individuals and family members remain at JBCC and are working with case managers to develop more sustainable housing plans. Fourteen individuals, including family units, have left the base for opportunities in and outside Massachusetts. It is anticipated that the remaining residents will depart JBCC this week as additional transitional housing opportunities are finalized. JBCC’s temporary shelter operation is scheduled to conclude by this weekend.

Since the voluntary and temporary measures commenced at JBCC, MEMA has coordinated with state, local, and non-profit agencies to ensure that the unmet needs of shelter residents are addressed, including:

  • Providing temporary shelter and food
  • Clothing and hygiene supplies
  • Access to health care, mental health, and crisis counseling services
  • Technical and logistical support for 24/7 access to ongoing legal services
  • Case management for ongoing housing for individuals, and families, including educational support for children
  • Access to transportation services for regular trips into the community for medical and other needs throughout their stay at JBCC
  • Coordinating spiritual care and social opportunities
  • Bi-lingual staff and interpreter services

To support transition efforts, representatives from Martha’s Vineyard Communities Services (MVCS) have provided financial assistance to shelter residents. This financial assistance was made possible by the generosity of the many individuals who contributed to a fund coordinated by MVCS.

The Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts has been providing ongoing legal support in collaboration with numerous non-profit organizations and private attorneys, including Lawyers for Civil Rights.

“We are incredibly grateful for so many of our partners who’ve mobilized to help the folks sheltering at Joint Base Cape Cod,” said Acting MEMA Director Dawn Brantley. “I especially want to thank the professionals at Father Bill’s & MainSpring for the tremendous expertise and compassion that they brought to this response. Their team has worked hard, around the clock from day one to ensure that day to day operations and service provision run smoothly. We are fortunate and very grateful they are part of this team.”

MEMA also wishes to thank agencies and organizations that have contributed support, care, and services to the individuals and families sheltered at JBCC, including: The Massachusetts National Guard, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Massachusetts Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), including the leadership of the Salvation Army of Massachusetts, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Transitional Assistance, Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod, Catholic Social Services, the Diocese of Fall River, Waquoit Congressional Church, the Venezuelan Association of Massachusetts, Eastern Bank, the Steamship Authority, the Massachusetts State Police, the Bourne Public Schools, Barnstable County, as well as several state and federal elected officials.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Provides Update Regarding Emergency Shelter Operations at Joint Base Cape Cod

Executive Office of Public Safety and Security 

EOPSS is responsible for the policy development and budgetary oversight of its secretariat agencies, independent programs, and several boards which aid in crime prevention, homeland security preparedness, and ensuring the safety of residents and visitors in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency 

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency ensures the state is prepared to withstand, respond to and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters.

Massachusetts National Guard 

The Massachusetts National Guard is an operational reserve of the United States Army and Air Force that provides ready, relevant and reliable troops and equipment to respond to natural disasters or other civil emergencies when activated by the Governor. The Guard also supports the federal military mission when activated to duty by the President of the United States.

Executive Office of Health and Human Services 

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is the largest secretariat in state government and is comprised of 12 agencies, in addition to 2 soldiers’ homes and the MassHealth program. Our efforts are focused on the health, resilience, and independence of the one in four residents of the Commonwealth we serve. Our public health programs touch every community in the Commonwealth.