Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness
HARTFORD - Gov. Ned Lamont joined lawmakers and leaders from the Connecticut Legislative Black and Puerto Rican caucus and nonprofit communities to ensure individuals and families who came to Connecticut following Hurricane Maria received housing assistance. The event took place at Catholic Charities’ Institute for the Hispanic Family
The event profiled the state’s response to the housing crisis experience by self-evacuees who were displaced by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Connecticut has has the highest concentration of Puerto Ricans of any state in the union, with 135,000 coming to Connecticut to find shelter.
The Connecticut Department of Public Protection’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security led Connecticut’s Statewide Response Framework. United Way of Connecticut’s 2-1-1 served as a resource for the public to access information about available community resources, connecting families with disaster case management services.
The event also featured speakers from the Connecticut Puerto Rican community who shared their experiences after the hurricane.
Lydia Vélez-Herrera, a Hartford community member who stepped up to help evacuees from Puerto Rico connect with housing resources, shared her perspective on the response effort.
“In the wake of the hurricane the families faced insurmountable challenges, but Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and their core partners came together to make sure that families received the assistance they needed in a family-centered, community-oriented way,” said Vélez-Herrera. “Without this collaboration we would have been in a very different situation.”
Richard Cho, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, whose organization helped spearhead the effort, also praised the many foundations who provided funding for housing assistance for families affected by the hurricane.