Highlighting Connecticut's Response Effort Helping Hurricane Maria Victims

July 30, 2019

I was so proud and honored today to highlight the state’s unprecedented and collaborative response to helping the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated their island two years ago.

As chairman of the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and co-chair of the Housing Committee, it was gratifying to be joined by Governor Lamont, my legislative colleagues and leaders of nonprofit communities for our important discussion to make sure individuals and families who came to Connecticut following Hurricane Maria received housing assistance.

Fittingly, we met at the Catholic Charities’ Institute for the Hispanic Family in Hartford, a key location in the state’s response effort.

The event profiled the state’s response to the housing crisis experience by self-evacuees who were displaced by Hurricane Maria and came to Connecticut to be near family. Maria, a Category 5 Hurricane virtually leveled much of Puerto Rico, destroying homes, wiping out electrical grids and leaving people without clean water.

Connecticut has the distinction of having the highest concentration of Puerto Ricans of any state in the union, with thousands of families coming to Connecticut to find shelter with family and kin. In the first six months of the disaster alone, families in Connecticut welcomed 10 percent of the 135,000 who came to the U.S. mainland in search of shelter.

My hat is off to all those who contributed to the effort.