After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, residents on the island were able to receive housing and financial assistance from FEMA to try to get their lives back on track. However, that assistance will soon end, leaving the people who have been receiving the help wondering where they are supposed to go and what they are supposed to do since much of the power on the island is still not working properly. Homes aren’t built like they were supposed to have been after the storm, which means that many people who live in Puerto Rico have nowhere to live and nowhere to turn.
Over 2,000 people on the island ranging from single mothers to the elderly have no home of their own. They have been living with family members and other people they know and in shelters just so that they have a roof and walls around them. It has been seven months since Hurricane Maria swept through, and the government has done little to try to get people some kind of permanent housing. Furniture and trash litter some of the streets as residents continue to sift what is left of their remains.
Some people have been living in motel rooms that have been paid for by FEMA. When the money from FEMA ends in just a few short weeks, no one knows what they will do about paying for the rooms or where they will go if they are unable to afford to continue staying at the motels. Over 100 people recently met with politicians in Washington to try to come up with a solution for permanent housing or an extension of the FEMA assistance. There is one program that could offer a long-term solution, but lawmakers would have to sign off on the plan before anyone could benefit from it, which is something that concerns many residents because of the government’s budget and the lack of concern shown in the past.