It has been six months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and many residents are still without power. Because of this, many frustrated people have taken their anger to Washington D.C.
According to NBC News, Michelle Torres’ community in the town of Coamo, Puerto Rico, is one of many that lost power during the hurricane in September 2017. Torres and her family left the country to take refuge in New York City back in October, but now they find themselves on the verge of homelessness.
When the family first moved to NYC, they started life over again in a shelter, then moved into two hotels, one in the Bronx and one in Brooklyn. The hotels were nice for a while, but the vouchers that gave them access to the rooms expired, forcing them back into the shelter.
Torres became frustrated with the living situations so she decided to take it up with Congress. Earlier in March, a rally was held against the living situation response of Congress and FEMA. The goal of the rally was to hold lawmakers and administrators accountable and to hopefully make them aware of their errors.
About 250 people came together in front of the FEMA headquarters to rally. They all carried blue tarps with the letters “SOS” printed on them. Ana María Archila, the Center for Popular Democracy’s co-executive director, spoke with NBC News.
“People are living through this in FEMA hotels, unclear whether they are being kicked out. They are desperate,” Archila said. “They are here because they want to call attention to this story.”
After all, countless homes were lost in Puerto Rico, and many families are still without electricity and basic necessities. While asphalt shingles are known to last 20 to 50 years depending on the climate, the climate in Puerto Rico last September simply decimated roofs, siding, and entire homes.
Until power is fully restored, FEMA is delivering 50,000 meals and 50,000 gallons of water each day to parts of Puerto Rico. For many people, that just isn’t enough. The country plans to make sure everything is prepared for any potential rain floods coming up. Hospitals are being equipped with extra generators and electrical infrastructure is being rebuilt. The country wants to do whatever they can do to prevent anything from going wrong further.
Many people are still stuck in Puerto Rico and are left without help. They ask for anyone to do anything possible to help them out.