Deadline looms for Puerto Rican families to find permanent housi - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Deadline looms for Puerto Rican families to find permanent housing

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

There's a breadth of uncertainty as hurricane victims prepare for the next step in their journey.

Not long ago, Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico and it will be a long road before the U.S. territory is fully restored.

"He doesn't know now, the limbo," said Ramon Siaca, through an interpreter.

Siaca came to mainland America just seven months ago along with his wife and three young children.

"He first went to Florida, so he was trying to get established over there.  Unfortunately, he wasn't able to establish himself," Siaca's interpreter added.

The family headed north to Massachusetts in search of more assistance.

"First, he worked with FEMA, but the funds ended and now, he's with the Red Cross, so he doesn't know what's going to happen, unfortunately," said Siaca's interpreter.

In a last minute move on Friday, FEMA extended their deadline unconditionally to May 14, but Siaca is unable to benefit from that change.  

"We're very glad FEMA responded to the concerns that we and others shared by extending Transitional Shelter Assistance. As Puerto Rico recovers, we will keep pushing for longer-term housing aid and will continue working to support those displaced in the local community," said Senators Warren and Markey in a joint statement.

The deadline for Siaca's family for Red Cross funding is in just five days, so he came to a meeting held by Senators Markey and Warren in search for help and hope.

"He has three minors.  The first one, unfortunately, has special needs and the second one has asthma and a little girl that he worries about," Siaca's interpreter explained.

Siaca told Western Mass News that they are unsure what the future holds.

"Hopefully trying to get out of this is to get something done, get something stable, and to be able to have a shelter for his family," Siaca's interpreter explained.

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

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