(Screenshot via bcemel.maps.arcgis.com)
A new year often means fresh starts, but many local communities are still dealing with the aftereffects of 2017’s tragedies.
That includes Puerto Ricans who fled here to Philadelphia after hurricanes Maria and Irma this fall: As of November, the Disaster Assistance Service Center (DASC) of Philadelphia received more than 1,200 citizens from the affected area.
It also includes the Philly-area families of those still trying to rebuild their lives on the devastated island. They’re not alone, though, as groups such as Unidos PA’PR, the coalition of nonprofits and prominent government officials, have been working consistently to come together and build up any support they can.
Recently, the coalition, in collaboration with the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Deputy Managing Director of Community Services Joanna Otero-Cruz, put together some resource guides for any Puerto Ricans who need help in Philadelphia.
The guides are available in English or Spanish, as well as at a nifty web app that lays out federal, state and local community resources like affordable housing sites accepting transitional shelter assistance or food banks.
The work reminds us of the global initiative joined by developers from local mapping firm Azavea to map out the island of Puerto Rico for relief workers helping out on the ground.
And remember that you can still offer your help through local startup NeedsList and its online platform connecting global aid workers with those with supplies and services to donate. (Amanda Levinson, cofounder and COO of NeedsList, said in an email that the nonprofit has been expanding into disaster relief, in addition to the work its already been doing during the refugee crisis.)
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Many of the needs from the 11 lists available on the NeedsList website have already been fulfilled but it looks like Puerto Ricans could still use things like solar fans and construction materials to rebuild schools.-30-
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