Assisting Hurricane Maria Evacuees in Connecticut

Disaster recovery and resiliency in Connecticut 

In the aftermath of hurricane Maria, which made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, many individuals and families have taken refuge on the mainland. Some evacuees have support systems already in place with family members, however many do not and need housing, employment, integration into school districts, and the basic needs. Connecticut is one of the states that has opened its doors to the citizens of Puerto Rico. 

The current situation and important information

  • 211 has a dedicated line for hurricane evacuee assistance
  • 211 has a resource guide available in English and Spanish online at
  • Register with FEMA at  or FEMA Assistance Line at 1-800-621-3362.  Contact FEMA with CT address and check on status of application.  Appeal any denial.  
  • Number of FEMA Registrants:  516 households, 1019 people (as of November 30).  49 families are in TSA hotel rooms (see below).  There are currently 11 hotels actively participating in the program, out of 105 hotels that have signed up to participate.  
  • Number of Students Enrolled in K-12 Public Schools:  1349 (as of November 30) 
  • Case Management:  Case management at state level is currently being coordinated by Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, based mostly on referrals from 211.
  •  United Way 211 Calls:   1762 calls as of November 30--- 50 to 60 per day.  Going forward, weekly reports will be issued each Monday, rather than daily.

Volunteers Stepping Up

Volunteers from a wide range of organizations and entities have stepped up and provided assistance to those arriving, with much of the work being taken on by American Red Cross, United Way 211, Catholic Charities, CT Rises and The Salvation Army along with community organizations in Waterbury, Hartford, Bridgeport, New Britain and New Haven. Currently resource centers are open in Hartford, Waterbury, New Britain, Bridgeport and New Haven to assist evacuees.

Unmet Needs

There are several ways to help right now.

New Haven – Junta for Progressive Action is managing a resource center at 169 Grand Ave. They currently need donations of scarves, gloves, hats and coats (adult and child sizes). They also need Spanish speaking volunteers to assist in the morning hours with FEMA applications and case management needs for families.

Hartford – The Hartford resource center is being managed by CREC at 15 Van Dyke Avenue,  and needs volunteers to assist with distributing food and clothing, sorting clothing donations, restocking shelves and preparing the center for service, and stacking food donations. Specific dates and times can be found here. 

or call CREC at 860-240-6668

United Way 211 – Is looking for about 3- 4 Spanish speaking volunteers to help serve individuals and families displaced from Puerto Rico.  We are looking for volunteers that meet the below requirements.  211 would provide the necessary training.  Volunteers would report to our office which is located on the Silas Deane Highway in Rocky Hill, CT. 

Volunteer Requirements:

  • Desire to serve 
  • Spanish speaker
  • Excellent phone voice
  • Patience
  • Bachelors or Associates Degree
  • Ability to quickly learn our computer and phone technology
  • Ability to  serve at least  2 - 4 hour shifts per week. 

For more information on volunteer and donation opportunities for arriving evacuees please contact CT VOAD chair Mike Corey at 860-518-4124, or by Email.