Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces New Requirements at State Safety-Net Sites

Families will be required to recertify monthly and demonstrate action toward getting work permits, jobs and housing
For immediate release:
  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces New Requirements at State Safety-Net Sites

Karissa Hand, Press Secretary

Boston — The Healey-Driscoll administration today announced new requirements at state safety-net sites in an effort to accelerate families on a path to housing stability and respond to rising capacity constraints. Effective May 1, 2024, families will be required to document engagement in case management and rehousing efforts monthly in order to remain eligible to stay at a state safety-net site. During this recertification process, they will be evaluated on whether they have participated in state-provided services to help them move toward independence, including applying for a work authorization, participating in a workforce training program, submitting job applications, taking English classes, and engaging in a search for housing. Families will be permitted to remain at sites as long as they continue to engage these services and activities. 

“We have said for months now that our system is at capacity, and we do not have the space, providers or funding to continue expanding,” said Emergency Assistance Director General Scott Rice. “This new certification policy is a responsible step to address the capacity constraints at our safety-net sites. Families will need to demonstrate that they’ve taken action to get on a path toward independence and out of shelter." 

The announcement comes as the state’s Emergency Assistance (EA) family shelter system has been operating at capacity for months. The EA program is for families with children or pregnant women who are experiencing homelessness. Less than half of families in EA are new arrivals to Massachusetts. Last fall, the administration announced that the system could no longer safely or responsibly expand and established a waiting list. Families who qualify for EA and are on the waiting list are eligible to stay at the state’s safety-net sites, which currently serve approximately 200 families. 

Notice about the policy will be given to all families currently in safety-net sites and provided during the intake process for new families. Shelter providers and case managers will work with families to make sure they are aware of the policy, conduct case management and diversion assessments, and help them engage in services and apply for re-certification. 

This policy does not apply to safety-net sites operated by the United Way of Massachusetts Bay. 

The administration also announced that it will be opening a new safety-net site next month in Chelsea. The former Chelsea Soldiers’ Home facility is vacant and slated to be demolished since the administration opened a new, larger, state-of-the-art facility last year, now known as the Massachusetts Veterans Home at Chelsea.  

“Massachusetts has proven that we can take care of veterans and families experiencing homelessness in our state,” said Secretary of Veterans Services Dr. Jon Santiago. “While EOVS formerly operated the building slated for demolition, this project operates independently and will not impact the daily routines or services at the Massachusetts Veterans Home at Chelsea.” 

At full capacity, the safety-net site will be able to accommodate approximately 100 families. The site will be for families with children or pregnant women who have been deemed eligible for the EA program and have been placed on the waitlist. Services will be available on site, including assistance with applying for work authorizations, connecting with employers, and finding stable housing.  


Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces New Requirements at State Safety-Net Sites

  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll 

    Since taking office, Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll’s top priority has been building a Massachusetts that’s competitive, equitable, and affordable for every family, worker, and business.
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