Massachusetts recreation center closed to house illegal aliens to reopen to public with improvements after community outcry

A community center in one of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods is scheduled to reopen soon after serving as a temporary shelter for illegal immigrants, according to a Fox News Digital report.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey’s (D) office told the news outlet that the Melnea Cass Recreation Center in Roxbury will reopen its doors to the public on June 22.

Earlier this year, the administration announced that it was temporarily closing state-owned community center to create additional shelter space for long-time homeless Massachusetts residents and newly arrived illegal immigrants. The temporary “safety net” shelter housed approximately 100 families or 400 people on the state’s waiting list.

“It’s very important for the community.”

The decision to close the recreational facilities sparked outrage from the Roxbury community, some of whom came out to protest. In February, residents protested outside the center with signs that read: “Our city, our spaces,” “Boston is full” and “Our children are last, why?”

WHDH reported that another resident showed up to the protest with a sign that read, “Why Roxbury? Try Wellesley!” referring to an affluent neighborhood in Boston.

Shawn Nelson, a resident who previously protested outside the facility, told WHDH, “They’re talking about how we should get kids off the streets, we should give them programs because they’re our future… Well, that’s what the future is about.” : driving them out of their own place.”

At the time, Healey responded to the community’s outrage by saying, “We just have to do what we have to do,” and noted that the situation was “born simply out of necessity.”

Massachusetts is the only state in the country with a right to housing law. In November, the state’s emergency shelter system reached capacity, with 7,500 families.

A spokesperson for Healey’s office told Fox News Digital that all homeless families and illegal immigrants have been moved out of the recreation center as the state prepares to reopen it for public use. The spokesperson noted that people who previously resided at the community center have been relocated to more permanent housing or a different location with a safety net.

Norm Stembridge, a former Roxbury resident and current co-chair of the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee, told WGBH that the closure of the recreation center affected locals.

“It’s very important for the community that young people and older people,” he told the media outlet. “There are activities aimed at each age group. “They are waiting for a place to be able to carry out these activities.”

Before reopening in the summer, the building will undergo several upgrades, including new flooring, equipment, tree planting, roof repairs and installation of solar panels.

The state has also opened several other safety net sites to address the number of illegal immigrants still on its waiting list. Healey’s office recently announced plans to convert a National Guard armory in Lexington into a temporary shelter space despite continued use of the facility. fire news previously reported. The state estimates the building will be able to house 55 families.

A WBZ report published in February estimated that the state is spending approximately $64 per day to feed every illegal alien.

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