2-1-1 call center gearing up to help Puerto Ricans arriving here

Operators at Connecticut's 2-1-1 call center helping families coming into the state from Puerto Rico (WTNH / Mark Davis)

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — The United Way of Connecticut’s statewide 2-1-1 call center in Rocky Hill has already had hundreds of calls from Puerto Rican families seeking help for family members expected to be coming here.

United Way President and C.E.O. Richard Porth said there are many families looking for help.

About sixty percent, two-thirds of the calls we’re getting are people looking for relocation assistance. We’re hearing that older adults may be among the first to arrive because of health concerns, things of that nature.”

Callers are also asking about placing school kids and applying for food stamps and other basic needs like clothing.  The Red Cross which has been on the ground in Puerto Rico since right after the hurricane says they are ready to help people here as soon as they get of the plane.  The Red Cross’ Jay Salvador saying,  “The primary goal here would be to get people settled with their families or with people that they know here in Connecticut.”

The Governor says the state’s biggest cities, New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury, Bridgeport and Stamford will see the biggest influx but that’s not all.  “New Britain‘s not the biggest city but it has one of the largest Puerto Rican concentrations of any municipality in the State of Connecticut, New London has a very large Puerto Rican population.”

The important message is if you have friends or relatives coming from Puerto Rico and in need of services please call 2-1-1.

Here it is in Spanish;  Si ustedes tienien familia o amigos viedo de Puerto Rico, por favor dilen  que llamen al 2-1-1.

You can link to the 2-1-1 center at www.211ct.org

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