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Finding A Place To Live Is Main Concern For Many Puerto Rican Evacuees

In the hurricane relief center in Hartford, Kaliel Diaz (center) goes through winter clothing with her mom Nydia Marcano (left) and her cousin Marlene Hernandez (right). Photo by Ryan Caron King for WNPR

Marlene Hernandez shuffled through winter coats with her cousin Kaliel Diaz at a hurricane relief center in Hartford. Diaz arrived from Puerto Rico with three other family members just days before.

As the New England winter starts to set in, many families displaced by Maria have come to the center to get warmer clothing and other supplies. Hernandez said an even bigger concern is where the family will live, especially if more relatives arrive.

“We’re still trying to figure that out,” Hernandez said. “We’re still just trying to get them a place to live for now so they can get everyone else here.”

A report from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College estimates between 3,000 and 11,000 Puerto Ricans could move to Connecticut post-Maria. The vast majority, like Hernandez’s family who are staying with her in her one-bedroom apartment, came to live with other family members.

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