Report: Hynes Convention Center being discussed as overflow shelter for migrant families

Local News

“We talked about a lot of different ways to attack the problem.”

David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe, File

With the state’s overburdened shelter system nearing capacity, Hynes Convention Center is among the locations being considered as an overflow shelter site by legislative leaders, The Boston Globe reports.

According to the newspaper, House Speaker Ron Mariano pointed to the Back Bay convention center while taking questions from reporters on Wednesday, saying Hynes “could be in play” when asked if it was among the overflow sites being discussed.

“It’s up to [the administration] as to how many we need,” Mariano said, according to the Globe. “Do we need one? If we have [the] Hynes, will that do it? Or do we need multiple locations all across the state? We talked about a lot of different ways to attack the problem. Some are multiple locations. Some are single big locations.”

The House is expected to pass a bill Wednesday that includes funding for managing the surge of homeless and migrant families in the state. The legislation dedicates $50 million to support “the identification, acquisition and operationalization of a state funded overflow emergency shelter site or sites.” Gov. Maura Healey’s administration would have 30 days after the effective date of the legislation to open the overflow site or sites for those on a shelter waitlist.

The state’s shelter system, strained due to a housing crisis and influx of migrants, can only safely support 7,500 families, officials have said. As of Tuesday, there were 7,456 families in the system and it was expected to reach capacity on Wednesday or Thursday. Healey previously announced that many of those seeking shelter would be placed on waitlists once capacity is reached and laid out how this system would work last week.