Senators staff to talk with Puerto Rican families about housing - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Senators staff to talk with Puerto Rican families about housing deadline

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Concern Thursday night for many Puerto Rican families whose federal funding for temporary housing runs out on Friday.

 Many of those families fear they will not have a place to live after leaving Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Staff from both Senator Markey and Senator Warren are expected to be in downtown Springfield around noon on Friday.

Nearly two dozen Puerto Rican families that live inside a West Springfield hotel were applauding after hearing that they will meet with those staffers in hopes to get the help they need.

Federal funding for temporary housing is set to run out for many families.

"When the extension is done, where are we going to go and do? We're not going to have any place to go. We can't go on the street. I have a brother that's one years old," said Alice Mitchell.  

"That made me feel great, especially because we were not sure what was going to happen. So many people had depression," said Jose Rivera.  

Earlier in the day Thursday, the families rallied in Springfield outside the senator's western Massachusetts offices. 

They were hoping those senators would hear their pleas for help, and they did. 

"We can be homeless, and my wife, she's 60 years old. She has major depression and you can't imagine what it's like in the streets," said Rivera. 

Right now, the families are staying at a West Springfield hotel which costs nearly $130 a night, and almost $4,000 a month.

It's money that FEMA and the Red Cross Disaster Relief programs have been supplying for temporary housing, but it's money that many of these families won't be able to afford on their own. 

"FEMA didn't say anything about it, if they are going to give us an extension or not," said Rivera. 

Families said they are hoping for the best on Friday. 

While they would like an extension, they would also like a more permanent solution to be able to live and work in western Massachusetts.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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