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Homeless housing: Former Mass. prison to reopen next month
Homeless housing: Former Mass. prison to reopen next month
Homeless housing: Former Mass. prison to reopen next month

Published on: 05/13/2024

Description

NORFOLK – A former prison in Norfolk will be used as an emergency shelter site for homeless families, about half will be newly arrived immigrants when the converted space opens next month, according to Scott Rice, the state's emergency assistance director.

The Bay State Correctional Center was decommissioned in 2015 amid a decrease in the state's prison population, and it can host around 140 families, many of whom have been staying at Logan Airport, according to a statement from Rice over the weekend.

The state's right to shelter law guarantees housing to homeless families with children and pregnant women who are eligible for emergency shelter.

Rice said the prison remains in good shape nearly a decade after its closure. Families staying there will have access to showers and bathrooms on each floor.

The facility also has a cafeteria, a gymnasium, a large common room and offices that will be used for case management and administrative activities, according to Rice.

Other changes to make the prison more hospitability will include creating play areas for children, as well as classroom spaces for adults that will be used for for English language instruction, job training courses and housing search workshops.

State official's said the razor wire on the fence surrounding the Bay State Correctional Center will be removed and that the facility's gates will remain open so that families will be free to come and go as needed.

In January, Gov. Maura Healey and her administration announced that MCI-Concord, a medium-security men’s prison, will close by this summer.

The governor's office said that as more former correctional facilities are decommissioned, those facilities and the land they occupy will be considered for alternative uses.

News Source : https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2024/05/13/gov-healey-to-convert-prison-to-shelter-norfolk-ma-immigrants-illegals/73669142007/

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