Governor Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced Friday they’ll be sharing $1.9 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to expand shelter service and transportation in Massachusetts for new immigrant arrivals.

Thousands of migrants have come to Massachusetts to seek asylum, fleeing violence and economic turmoil in Haiti and South America.

“We are thankful to FEMA for awarding this funding and look forward to continuing to collaborate with federal partners on work authorizations, additional funding, and reforming our immigration system to welcome and support families in a dignified way,” said Wu in a statement.

The City of Boston had applied for the funding earlier this summer with the state’s Office of Health and Human Services as a sub-applicant. Boston plans to use the funds on temporary hotel rooms for eligible people, which will be staffed by emergency service providers.

The state’s share of funds will go towards the lease for housing at the family welcome center at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy. Migrant families are currently living in a dorm building there, and a separate building serves as a spot to connect families to social services and much-needed supplies.

Last week, Healey asked the federal government for financial help with the growing number of migrant families coming to Massachusetts.

“Our Administration will continue to use every resource at our disposal to address the unprecedented rise in migrant families arriving in our state in need of housing and services,” said Healey. Of the award, $1.8 million will be going to the state. She said her administration looks, “forward to future collaboration with the federal government to address this crisis through increased funding, streamlined work authorizations, and comprehensive immigration reform.”

Healey declared a state of emergency last week due to rising numbers of migrant families and the severe lack of shelter availability.

“The declaration served as a notice to the federal government and the Commonwealth that the state’s shelter system is rapidly expanding capacity in an unsustainable manner, and that further assistance is urgently needed,” according to a press statement from the governor’s office.

There are currently more 5,800 families in state shelters, including children and pregnant women. The Family Welcome Center in Quincy has served 210 families since opening on July 31, and 904 families have been served by the Family Welcome Center in Allston since opening June 23.

The City of Boston plans to hire two more community liaisons to help migrants navigate the emergency housing and shelter systems. In addition to housing, many need help with employment, schools and health insurance.

Updated: August 18, 2023
This story has been updated with new data about the number of migrants who have been served by welcome centers.