Six Months after María, Urging Action

“Six months later, our island is still in crisis,” said José López, Organizing Director of Make the Road New York (MRNY). (Photo by Gregg McQueen via Manhattan Times)

Six months after Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico, victims who made their way to New York City are finding that help and support are dwindling, while families who remained on the island are still in desperate straits. Some families now in NYC gathered recently with advocacy groups to urge the federal government and elected officials to provide more aid to the stricken island, writes Gregg McQueen in Manhattan Times.

“Six months later, our island is still in crisis,” said José López, Organizing Director of Make the Road New York (MRNY).

“Congress needs to act; FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] needs to get their act together. This administration ultimately is responsible for the efforts coming out of Washington, and they need to be held accountable for the lack of resources and the lack of response,” López said.

Manhattan Times spoke with some of the people who made their way to NYC, many of them at the recommendation of FEMA.

Daiza Aponte, 29, has been staying in a New York City hotel through FEMA assistance since December 29. She fled Carolina, Puerto Rico after Hurricane María, along with her two daughters.

Aponte said she was led to believe that housing would be easier to come by if she came to the city.

“In Puerto Rico, they tell us that if we come to New York, we’re going to get housing, and when we got here, that wasn’t the case,” she said.

She said one of her daughters has chronic asthma, and she has to travel to another borough to get medication.

While Aponte was able to get an extension on her hotel from FEMA, she said another family she knows was rejected.

“That family will then go to the street because they don’t have a place to go,” Aponte said.

Go to Manhattan Times to read what others displaced from Puerto Rico had to say about the circumstances they are dealing with here.

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