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Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery

by Filantropía Puerto Rico
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Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery

Vivian I. Neptune Rivera

Dean of the University of Puerto Rico School of Law

20 voces en lucha por Puerto Rico (20 Voices on the Frontline for Puerto Rico), a project by the Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico and its FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund, documents how twenty organizations and foundations impacted some of the island’s most vulnerable communities after Hurricane Maria. Their stories of hope and strength exemplify how the nonprofit sector was able to reinvent itself by creating new initiatives, projects and alliances to help the Puerto Ricans during the emergency and beyond. Starting September 1st and until the anniversary of the storm’s destruction, we'll post a daily video showcasing leaders from the non-profit sector telling their stories.


You can find them on the FacebookLinkedInInstagramTwitter, and YouTube pages of the Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico.

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Ana María García Blanco
Executive Director, Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE)


 20 voces en lucha por Puerto Rico (20 Voices on the Frontline for Puerto Rico), a project by the Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico and its FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund, documents how twenty organizations and foundations impacted some of the island’s most vulnerable communities after Hurricane Maria. Their stories of hope and strength exemplify how the nonprofit sector was able to reinvent itself by creating new initiatives, projects and alliances to help the Puerto Ricans during the emergency and beyond. Starting September 1st and until the anniversary of the storm’s destruction, we'll post a daily video showcasing leaders from the non-profit sector telling their stories.

You can find them on the FacebookLinkedInInstagramTwitter, and YouTube pages of the Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
20 Voices on the Frontline for Puerto Rico, a project by the Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico and its FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund, documents how twenty organizations and foundations impacted some of the island’s most vulnerable communities after Hurricane Maria. Their stories of hope and strength exemplify how the nonprofit sector was able to reinvent itself by creating new initiatives, projects and alliances to help the Puerto Ricans during the emergency and beyond. Starting September 1st and until the anniversary of the storm’s destruction, we'll post a daily video showcasing leaders from the non-profit sector telling their stories.
You can find them on the Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube pages of the Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico.

Links:

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Fermin Arraiza offers legal assistance to Roberto.
Fermin Arraiza offers legal assistance to Roberto.

The FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund supports innovative approaches to help Puerto Rico prosper.  Puerto Rico’s recovery and rebuilding is a long-term effort.  Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated an island that was already reeling from a longstanding economic crisis. Quickly after the hurricanes, the Fund provided emergency funds to vetted, high impact local grassroots organizations that were offering immediate assistance to those affected. Now, the Fund is pursuing essential long-term strategic priorities to help move Puerto Rico forward. This report describes the work that is being done by one of the organizations supported through the Fund.

 

LEGAL OWNERSHIP ASSISTANCE

In the nine months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted Puerto Rico, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied 80,000 requests for assistance because applicants can't verify homeownership, according to data provided to El Nuevo Dia newspaper (https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/creaniniciativaparaayudaraobtenertitulosdepropiedad-2425638/) by Adi G. Martinez, executive director of the Access to Justice Fund Foundation (FFAJ by its Spanish acronym).

This has become a major obstacle to the recovery of the island since 55 percent of residences in Puerto Rico do not have title deeds, cites Primera Hora (http://www.primerahora.com/noticias/puerto-rico/nota/anuncianserviciosgratuitosparapersonasquenotienentitulosdepropiedad-1285428/). Many people have lived for decades in homes inherited from their families or built on land that was given to them informally, among other circumstances.

"The proliferation of informal property in Puerto Rico existed before Hurricane Maria, and is the result of high levels of poverty and the high costs of completing these legal processes," explained Martinez.

Over the next months, approximately 1,600 people will receive free legal and notary assistance in order to obtain the documents required by FEMA through "Legal Ownership Assistance", a project financed by the Funders Network of Puerto Rico in alliance with the Ford Foundation and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

"A home is often the most important asset that poor families possess. If they can’t rebuild it, they literally lose the roof over their heads," asserted Janice Petrovich, executive director of the Puerto Rico Foundations Network.

Thanks to the support from these foundations, a team of 40 notaries, students and volunteers from the FFAJ and the Legal Aid Clinic of the Law School of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) are visiting the 78 municipalities of the island providing legal assistance to people whose homes were affected by the hurricanes. This team will draft affidavits, sworn statements and other documents to allow beneficiaries to formalize ownership of their homes and receive federal assistance to repair them.

Alongside this direct legal assistance, the UPR's Law School is conducting research on the types of ownership problems facing Puerto Ricans, including inheritance issues, non-segregated lands, and rescue of public or private lands.

"The equitable recovery of Puerto Rico requires that we actively protect the housing and property rights of its citizens, as well as guarantee them the resources to rebuild their homes and communities," signals Jerry Maldonado, Senior Program Officer of the Ford Foundation.

The deadline to apply to FEMA was June 19 , with a period of 60 additional days to appeal any decision.

Near 1,600 people will receive free legal advice.
Near 1,600 people will receive free legal advice.
FEMA has denied 80,000 requests.
FEMA has denied 80,000 requests.
Roberto lives in an inherited home in Fajardo.
Roberto lives in an inherited home in Fajardo.

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ESCAPE received an increase in service requests.
ESCAPE received an increase in service requests.

The FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund is a fund that supports local grassroots organizations that are assisting communities affected by the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria. This report describes the work that is being done by one of the organizations supported through the Fund. 

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, mental health professionals observed that emotional and social reactions to a catastrophic event manifested fully a year or year and a half later. In Puerto Rico, seven months after hurricanes Irma and Maria, symptoms of stress and anxiety are starting to surface, particularly in children and in certain vulnerable families.

"After the hurricane, the triggers that provoke violence in the family increased: savings ran out, one of the parent who worked lost their job, or maybe the mother was the only one working and is now unemployed. These families were fragile before the hurricane and after the hurricane that fragility became a ticking time bomb set to detonate," explains Yadira Pizarro Quiles, executive director of ESCAPE, a non-profit organization specializing in the intervention, treatment and prevention of child abuse and family violence.

Since September, when the two storms passed, ESCAPE received a significant increase in service requests at its three centers. These services include educational seminars for schools, churches, community centers, private companies, and municipalities on a variety of topics such as healthy parenting, discipline, prevention of abuse and domestic violence, balancing family and work, how to prevent bullying, how to prevent sexual abuse of minors, among other topics. They added psychological services to address anxiety caused by the hurricanes, and new seminars for adults and children on issues related to the prevention and management of stress and anxiety after disasters.

Additionally, at the San Germán center, which also covers the municipalities of Sábana Grande, Hormigueros, Mayagüez and Cabo Rojo, from September to April they assisted 915 children and adults in child abuse and domestic violence situations. These families received specialized counseling services, coordination of services, and support from volunteers, as well as psychological and educational services. The center also offered free psychological services to the community.

At the Gurabo office, they ended the month of April with 389 adults and children receiving services at their Early Head Start center. This included 120 children from two months to three years of age and their families who received day care, early intervention, nutrition, social work and health services. In addition, 15 pregnant women and their families received counseling, guidance and support in the pre, post and peri-natal stages.

The Metropolitan Area center in Santurce, on the other hand, was destroyed during Hurricane Maria and currently operates from a space in the Gurabo center. It serves the municipalities of San Juan, Carolina, Guaynabo, Trujillo Alto, Bayamón, and Caguas offering education and prevention services, parenting courses, and seminars. Even without an official headquarters they reached 873 children and adults as of the end of April through their education services. They hope that by relocating back to San Juan they can resume offering specialized counseling and service coordination while working directly with families.

Thanks to emergency funds such as the FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund, ESCAPE hired new resources, such as a service coordinator for San Germán, increasing the number of people they can help. They also created a reserve fund to give continuity to their services in case other funding is delayed or absent.

ESCAPE's work is only beginning. During the next months the emotional consequences of the hurricanes will be more pronounced. Pizarro Quiles has already observed an increase in the lethality and intensity of violence and aggression towards children.

"Organizations like ESCAPE that work with prevention have to be ready for everything that's coming, because undoubtedly there will continue to be an increase in requests for services and that's good. It's fantastic that people are looking for help. The challenge for organizations and the island is for those services to be available to the people looking for help," she points out.

389 adults and children receiving services.
389 adults and children receiving services.
Kids from 2 months to 3 years received day care.
Kids from 2 months to 3 years received day care.

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Organization Information

Filantropía Puerto Rico

Location: San Juan - Puerto Rico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Janice Petrovich
San Juan, Puerto Rico
$302,798 raised of $350,000 goal
 
2,367 donations
$47,202 to go
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