A new partnership between the eight refugee resettlement agencies in Massachusetts and the state aims to help 400 immigrant families get out of emergency shelter and assimilate into a new life.

Gov. Maura Healey announced the two-year, $10.5 million plan to connect families in emergency shelters — about half of whom are migrants — with formal help from resettlement organizations to find housing and receive employment services and social services.

“We’re grateful to the Legislature for providing this funding to expand their efforts so that we can meet the needs of families in our Emergency Assistance shelter system,'' Healey said in a written statement on Thursday. "Our communities and our economy will be stronger because of this partnership.”

Resettlement agencies have a long history of helping immigrants of all legal statuses, but often, refugees, which are defined by the United Nations as those "who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence." Most migrants currently in Massachusetts are seeking asylum after entering the country or while seeking admission at a port of entry along the border. They can be here for very similar reasons as refugees, but the processes they go through are different.

Cristina Aguilera Sandoval, executive director of the state's Office for Refugees and Immigrants, said the agencies are well prepared to care for all types of migrants.

“We have witnessed the impact of their culturally strategic and dedicated approach to refugee resettlement all across our state," Sandoval said. "Their staff is uniquely qualified to meet the needs of immigrants who recently chose Massachusetts as their new home and are eager to work and be a part of our communities. We look forward to working in collaboration with them in this new program and building strong pathways to housing stability.”

State officials say $2.5 million will be used for traditional refugee resettlement, and $8 million will go toward housing 400 families by the end of this year.

Resettlement agencies receiving contracts are Ascentria Community Services Inc., Catholic Charitable Bureau of the Archdiocese of Boston Inc., Jewish Family Service of Metrowest Massachusetts Inc., Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts Inc., Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success Inc., Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center Inc., The Catholic Charities Agency of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, MA, Inc., and The International Institute of New England Inc.

Catholic Charities of Boston is slated to help at least 50 families.

Marjean Perhot, vice president for refugee and immigrant services there, said the nonprofit will be hiring more staff to provide services, case management and help find housing to families. “We will be bringing on staff to support that effort because we're already, really at maximum capacity with our current programs to resettle refugees from overseas,” she said.

Each family will get around $20,000 worth of resources, according to resettlement agency heads, which will include case management, rental assistance, and help finding employment once they have work authorization.

Perhot said the organization will lean on their long established relationships with other groups that focus on employment services like New Americans Center in Lynn and Jewish Vocational Services.

“We do see some people in the shelters that already have jobs or are very close to being hired," Perhot said. "So that's really encouraging.”

The International Institute of New England also is contracted to help 50 migrant families. The resettlement agencies will access HomeBase, a state program that helps families in emergency shelter with rental support of $30,000.

“We're going to be leveraging that program to support families when they exit shelters,” said Jeffrey Thielman, chief executive of the International Institute of New England. “Our staffs across the state will help find apartments for families who are in shelter, help move those families to apartments and then help them to become self-sufficient through case management.”

Ascentria, which also operates in Central and Western Massachusetts, is slated to help at least 75 migrant families.

Ascentria President Angela Bovill said the group has a breadth of experience housing immigrants. The group also knows of people who open their homes to migrant families and could do so again in the future, she said.

“Understanding and having relationships, in the communities that we operate in with landlords, we know the good ones, and we know where to not put people,” she said.