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State Aiding Puerto Rican Evacuees Displaced By Earthquakes

Frankie Graziano
Connecticut Public Radio
State Rep. Geraldo Reyes (D-Waterbury) was invited to Gov. Ned Lamont's office Friday, February 21, to talk about aid for displaced Puerto Ricans who have come to Connecticut after a string of earthquakes rattled the island this winter.

The state is setting aside money for Puerto Ricans arriving in Connecticut after being displaced from the island by natural disasters.

Since late last year, a series of earthquakes have shaken Puerto Rico.

“The people that are showing up here in Connecticut are showing up here because Connecticut has demonstrated the ability to get it done and to be able to show other states how to actually help support Americans,” said State Rep. Geraldo Reyes (D-Waterbury), a member of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus.

“We’re not asking anybody to help people from another country, these are Americans.”

The state is making $75,000 available as part of the grant designed to help evacuees with housing costs. The money can be used for a security deposit and first month’s rent.

The funds will be managed by the San Juan Center, a nonprofit organization based in Hartford. It will distribute the money to cities and local organizations across the state.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin welcomes the funding. He leads a city with the fifth-largest Puerto Rican population in the United States, according to state statistics.

“There are many fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico who look to Connecticut as the place to come for refuge from the storm and as a place they make their home and we are proud to be that place,” Bronin said.

Hartford public schools have taken in at least 70 students in the aftermath of the earthquakes and their aftershocks, according to Bronin.

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