Puerto Rican families displaced by hurricanes seek help as housi - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Puerto Rican families displaced by hurricanes seek help as housing deadline looms

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

Displaced families from Puerto Rico facing housing deadlines rallied Thursday. 

This all happened outside the offices of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey in downtown Springfield.

While hurricane victims are up against the clock, they are asking for long-term solutions from lawmakers.

These past several months has been chock full of uncertainty for these families.

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Mother Nature cleared countless homes in her path.

"We don't know where we're going to be after the sixth," said Jose Rivera.

Just last month, Puerto Rican families facing housing deadlines met with Warren and Markey's staff.

However, now, another deadline is drawing near.

"It is very stressing because you don't know.  We'll probably be out of the hotel by this Sunday.  We'll be on the streets and we don't have anywhere to go," said Yaliz Rolon.

Massachusetts has the second highest influx of displaced people from Puerto Rico, following right behind Florida.

Hurricane victims marched into the Main Street building to deliver a letter to the senators, but no one came to retrieve it.

"We come back here to remind them what their promise was.  We just want to hear about what they're doing to help us," Rivera added.

Western Mass News reached out to the senators.  In a joint statement, they said:

“We share the concerns of hurricane evacuees here in Western Mass: the federal government’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico is unacceptable. DHS’s decision to extend temporary shelter assistance is a needed step, but we’re concerned there is still no longer-term plan in place. Families need certainty as they work to get back on their feet, not arbitrary deadlines, and we will keep pressing the Trump Administration for a safe and stable housing solution.” 

"I want to see promises getting kept.  Some of these folks are living in a world of uncertainty.  I think they need a voice.  Some of them have a lot of narratives and a lot of heartbreaking stories that aren't understanding," said Springfield city councilor Adam Gomez. 

Families we spoke with said that this isn't the end.  They are going to continue to fight for a solution.

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

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