Most Puerto Rican evacuees in Chicago didn’t benefit from FEMA hotel program

Of those who arrived in Chicago affected by Hurricane Maria , only 67 families entered the hotel program of the federal agency, while 155 were located or are on a list for subsidized housing in the city. Others already returned when they did not get where to stay.

Cantera or the Neglect of Public Policy to Tackle Poverty

The quintessential image that portrays the history of the Cantera community in San Juan dates back to 1989, when residents met in a house garage to assign each other tasks and assume their own reconstruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo. It sparked a community organization process, which in turn led to the establishment of a public corporation to meet the needs of the impoverished sector and work with its residents to improve their living conditions. Three decades later, Cantera is in agony and after enduring hurricane María, it now faces the shutdown of the Company for the Integral Development of the Cantera Peninsula, as proposed by the Fiscal Plan certified in April by Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Control Board (FCB). The measure, although approved by the FCB, is not an idea of the entity imposed by the federal government. It shows up in internal documents of the Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares administration, which in October 2017 — a month after María — contemplated closing down the public corporation.

The Toll of the Media’s Neglect of Puerto Rico

Jacqueline Capó walks through Calle del Cristo, paved with blue cobblestones like the other main streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico — a city that looks like it came off a Paul Signac painting. The ocean breeze sweeps through narrow passages between colonial pastel buildings with chipped paint, tall wooden shutters and rustic balconies, and ruffles Capó’s emerald blouse. She stops in front of the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, as the buzzing of power generators starts filling the midday air. “We’ve already gotten used to that; this is our new reality,” says Capó, a 55-year-old singer and a daughter of the Frank Sinatra of Puerto Rico, the late Bobby Capó, and Irma Nydia Vázquez. Seven months after Hurricane Maria, the island still has not recovered.

After Disaster, San Juan’s Poorest Residents are at Risk of Losing Their Lifeline

Yolanda Montañez’s home resembles that of a construction site. The floor is bare, with dirt and small holes. There are no walls separating the two bedrooms on the second floor, and all of her belongings are huddled up in plastic bags. But she’s happy because for the first time in almost eight months she can look up and not see the sky through a blue, plastic tarp but instead a new, brown roof. For decades, the people of el Caño Martín Peña, a neighborhood in San Juan, have dealt with some of the highest levels of poverty, flooding, and gentrification in the country.

Official Reports of Violence Against Women in Puerto Rico Unreliable After Hurricane Maria

More than seven months after Hurricane Maria, organizations serving domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Puerto Rico report an increase in violence against women since the storm. Yet a breakdown in island infrastructure and unreliable statistics from official sources makes it difficult to quantify the problem and respond to the emergency needs of victims in the US territory. Sexual violence and intimate partner violence tends to rise in the aftermath of natural disasters due to the high levels of stress, the scarcity of basic necessities, and the breakdown of social networks, according to the World Health Organization. Puerto Rico has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world, which has increased over the last few years. Leaders of organizations serving victims on the island say the two hurricanes last fall likely exacerbated the rate of violence against women in Puerto Rico.

Rising Crime and a Shrinking Police Force Stunt Puerto Rico’s Recovery

As of April 29, in the first four months of 2018, 227 murders had occurred in Puerto Rico, 14 more than in the same period last year. But those who are supposed to fight crime are leaving the police. In just five years, Puerto Rico has lost almost a quarter of its police force. Of 17,000 officers, more than 4,000 have left their jobs. Many officers who have remained in their posts are not happy because of low wages and poor benefits, several said in separate interviews.