(FixThisNation.com) – Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, a Democrat, has determined that a sports center in Boston will serve as temporary housing for migrants for a period of up to four months. Unfortunately, this decision has resulted in the temporary closure of the facility, which has disproportionately impacted a predominantly Black community that relies on it for indoor recreation during the winter months.
Criticism has arisen over the abrupt nature of the closure, with residents of the Roxbury neighborhood being locked out of the Melnea A. Cass Recreational Complex with less than 48 hours’ notice, as reported by the Boston Globe.
State Senator Liz Miranda, a Democrat representing Roxbury, has been advocating for much-needed repairs and updates to the center’s restrooms, floors, and security, with an estimated cost of around $500,000. The exact amount the state plans to allocate for these improvements remains unclear.
Miranda expressed understanding for the difficult position Governor Healey faces in managing a crisis that necessitates not only increased federal assistance but also collaboration from other communities. She acknowledged that while the outrage in Roxbury is justified due to historical disparities in resource allocation, there is also a humanitarian aspect to consider, as women and children should not be left to sleep in airports or outdoors.
According to officials, the facility is expected to house approximately 125 families and has traditionally served as a hub for community sports groups, offering a vital outlet for at-risk youth.
Domingos DaRosa, the president of the Boston Bengals youth athletic organization, expressed concerns about the long-term impact of this decision, emphasizing the challenge of reengaging these children in recreational activities.
Hassan Ahmed, representing Boston United Track and Cross Country, lamented that the closure has left his program without a home.
The migrants are slated to begin moving into the Roxbury site on Wednesday, as it becomes the state’s fourth safety-net facility for individuals awaiting placement in Massachusetts’ emergency shelter system. This decision has sparked debate and concerns regarding the consequences it may have on the local community’s recreational opportunities and the well-being of at-risk youth.
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