June 1, 2021, marks the start of a new hurricane season. Many predict this will be an active season, a fact that's ever-present within a global climate crisis. Anxiety starts building up as uncertainty about the Government's disaster planning grows. Consequences of major hurricanes Irma and María, the impacts of the seismic events of 2020, and the pandemic are neglected and summed up. Housing insecurity is a reality for thousands living under blue tarps, insecure constructions, and dwellings that await disaster assistance. At the same time, families across the board are less likely to have the necessary funds to prepare for a disaster. For us, as legal responders aware of our ethical and political duty to accompany families while their demand their right to just recovery, it's our moment to get ready. We can only do that with your support.
In this brief report, I share with you some data to let you know how the first three months of 2021 are shaping this disaster legal aid project. I hope you can understand the needs and vulnerability and the interest of a whole population to recover equitably. I hope you decide to continue supporting us.
As climate change continues to affect our Island through sea-level rise, flooding, more extreme atmospheric events, and droughts, disaster legal aid with a legal empowerment perspective is urgent.
This is how this projects 2021 is going.
- Two hundred people received legal accompaniment through our helplines. These numbers include earthquakes and hurricane survivors, also people seeking assistance to receive public aid during the pandemic.
- 145 participated in KYR workshops on rights and disasters, with a focus on housing.
- 67% of the people who receive support from ALPR are women.
- Questions revolve around public assistance on employment, the need for transitory housing, public housing, and unresponded assistance requests.
During the next month, while we advocate for the Government to adopt a just recovery geared disaster plan, we will be hosting community workshops, free education for pro bono attorneys, and other opportunities to develop capacity towards this season. We will remain present at all times, thanks to your support.