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26th Ward To Be Center Stage in Welcoming Puerto Rican Evacuees

(October 19, 2017)--In the event that Chicago sees a large influx of Puerto Ricans arriving here, the City has made preparations to open a "Welcome Center for Evacuees" located in the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse at 1400 N. Sacramento Ave. Alderman Roberto Maldonado reported, "At this Center Puerto Ricans will find all the help they need to make Chicago their new home: housing, food, clothing, healthcare and education. After landing, this will be their first stop in Chicago."

The City of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management & Communications (OEMC), the Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations--along with local community groups--planned the Welcome Center as a clearinghouse to meet the needs of Puerto Ricans resettling in Chicago in the following months.

"Senator Durbin has assured me that Puerto Rican evacuees holding Section 8 vouchers will be given priority to subsidized housing in the Chicago area," said Maldonado. "In addition, Chicago families currently living in subsidized housing will be relieved to know they can house their family members in their homes without fear of violating their leases."

FEMA Really Can Help

FEMA takes care of necessary expenses and serious needs that aren't covered by insurance or other forms of assistance.

Funds are available to cover:

  • Moving expenses, unemployment insurance, childcare
  • Repairing or replacing common furniture and appliances
  • Healthcare, dental, and funeral expenses for injuries or death sustained in the disaster
  • Expenses for rent, house repair or home rebuilding
  • Crisis counseling & legal services
"There's only a small period of time (60 days after the disaster was declared) to file for FEMA assistance.  So families and friends of Puerto Ricans on the island must encourage and help them to file as soon as possible," urged Maldonado.