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Time and money running dry for families who fled hurricane-battered Puerto Rico

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Both time and money are starting to run dry for families who fled hurricane-battered Puerto Rico. One group is busy helping displaced families.

Paola Serrecchia, the Director of Advocacy at Junta for Progressive Action, said, “Here in New Haven that have walked through our door we are at 892 people in 10 and a half weeks. It’s a race against the clock to get people the help they need.”

Serrecchia added, “It keeps being a Band-Aid that keeps getting put on. Hopefully, it’s enough time to get some sort of housing, but here in Connecticut, like many other states, we already have a homeless epidemic. We already had family shelters that are full.”

Jeorkan Alvarado moved to New Haven with her kids from Puerto Rico. Alvarado said, “I’m with food stamps at the moment and I’m here in Junta’s just to try to get any housing assistance because it is hard for me. I’m a single mom with three kids.”Related Content: FEMA to stop paying for hotels for Puerto Rican evacuees in CT

She found a job and enrolled in school and is hoping to make a new start in Connecticut. Alvarado added, “Their jobs, the offices are closed or were destroyed. That’s why a lot of people immigrated to the United States, because they don’t have the resources to get a job over there.”

Advocates said it’s time that the federal government step up and provide displaced families with long-term solutions.

Elmer Rivera with Connecticut Puerto Rican Agenda said, “Could you imagine every two weeks being told that you are going to be on the street? That’s no way to live, especially for American citizens.”

Serrecchia added, “When someone has lost everything and their whole life, to be able to, in a couple of months be able to get employment and sustainable housing. It’s just not enough time.”

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