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Puerto Rico Disaster Relief: 120 Days and Counting

Puerto Rico Disaster Relief: 120 Days and Counting

The destruction was so widespread and devastating following Hurricane Maria that, even 120 days later, little has been accomplished to put the island to rights. It’s good to know, though, that the state of Connecticut and several of our housing grantees have stepped up to welcome homeless survivors and find them temporary housing.

One of those grantees, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH), recently filed this update on what Connecticut’s doing to help Puerto Rico’s homeless:

As of January 4, 2018, 809 households (or 1,740 people) are registered with FEMA and currently resident across Connecticut. One-hundred and seventy-nine families are in FEMA-funded Transitional Shelter Assistance hotel rooms. Approximately 10 Puerto Rican evacuee households are being housed in Connecticut homeless shelters, with some 25 more on emergency shelter waitlists.

Here’s what’s happening behind the scenes: 211 is making every effort to refer Puerto Rican evacuees in need of assistance to disaster case management provided largely by the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities. CCEH is working to connect evacuees in emergency shelters to FEMA resources and to disaster case management to help curtail evacuees’ shelter stays.

What can you do? If a Puerto Rican evacuee household seeks assistance:
• Help them call 211 and press 5 for hurricane evacuee assistance.
• Make sure the household registers with FEMA or contacts the FEMA Assistance Line at 1-800-621-3362.

Providers are encouraged to:
• Contact FEMA with the Connecticut address of the household, check on status of the application, and appeal any denials.
• Access the 211 Resource Guide for Evacuees, available in Spanish and English.