ORLANDO, FL — In the 24 hours left the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Transitional Shelter Assistance Program is set to expire. The Abrazo Boricua coalition released the following statement condemning FEMA’s decision to terminate housing assistance as Abrazo Boricua works around the clock to find housing for approximately 43 families in the Central Florida region:
“Hurricane Maria survivors have had their lives turned upside down again, but this time it’s the federal government’s callous own doing. We condemn the Court’s order allowing FEMA to terminate transitional housing for thousands of Puerto Ricans still in need,” said Freddie Agrait of the Hispanic Federation.
“We are working against the clock to find homes for Orlando families who will be effectively left homeless as of this weekend.”
“Many of the Abrazo Boricua members have been meeting with families and assessing their needs to accommodate and provide them with a permanent housing solution. In addition, the Abrazo Boricua Coalition has been in talks with hotels in the city of Kissimmee to have families stay temporarily and buy time to find a longer term option. Throughout the Central Florida region, members are also vetting potential properties to ensure living conditions for the families fit their necessities as much as possible,” added Agrait.
“Tens of thousands of refugees arrived in Central Florida after Hurricane Maria, and are now working, attending school and being productive members of society. This is the last group of families, many of whom face challenges relating to health, age and other factors,” said Father Jose Rodriguez of the Episcopal Office of Latino Assistance.