- Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Awards $1.75 Million for New Immigrant Assistance Services Program
Cecille Joan Avila, Media Relations Manager
BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration has awarded $1.75 million to form the Immigrant Assistance Services (IAS), a new program designed to assist newly arrived immigrants in Massachusetts so they can access services that address their immediate needs. IAS will be a collaborative program between the Office of Refugees and Immigrants (ORI) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and will be administered by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA).
Funding for IAS will support up to 800 individuals and families who are currently living in DHCD homeless shelter placements. Once fully operationalized, this centralized intake and triage process will help immigrants access services such as immediate advice and referrals, targeted and more comprehensive case management, legal services, and other support for which they may be eligible. ORI and DHCD will coordinate and manage the statewide delivery of these services, including arranging regular on-site health visits and clinics for immigrants in shelter. MIRA will work with resettlement agencies to conduct the case management.
“Massachusetts is home to many service providers who do heroic work to connect immigrant families with the resources and support that they need. Our administration is proud to support their efforts with the establishment of the Immigrant Assistance Services,” said Governor Maura T. Healey. “This funding represents an essential boost to our efforts to ensure that all families in Massachusetts have access to safe shelter, food and health care.”
“Our administration has been hard at work to provide families with safe shelter and help them move into permanent housing options, but the need has continued to rise,” said Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll. “We are proud to award this funding to the MIRA Coalition and their partners and look forward to continued partnership with advocates and service providers to support immigrant families in Massachusetts.”
“New arrivals to Massachusetts need access to shelter, food, and medical care, we cannot continue to rely on hospital waiting rooms for support,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh. “For those who arrive in the Commonwealth, this partnership between ORI and DHCD is a streamlined and effective lifeline. IAS will identify needs, and work with individuals and families to provide necessary and immediate support including referrals, legal assistance, and access to benefits.”
“We are thrilled to see this partnership with MIRA move forward to provide additional case management and services to families in our shelter system who are new arrivals to Massachusetts and remain grateful for the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s commitment to our families,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “New arrivals in our shelter system are particularly in need of these vital connections to thrive. This new partnership is an important step forward to help families find stability and opportunities in Massachusetts.”
“MIRA deeply appreciates the Commonwealth’s ongoing commitment to assisting new arrivals and the many organizations on the ground that tirelessly support them,” said MIRA Political Director Sarang Sekhavat. “The IAS Program will be vital in ensuring that these families have the help they need to adapt and thrive here in Massachusetts.”
Funding for this program comes from the Act Relating to Economic Growth and Relief for the Commonwealth.