New Location Opens Up In Philly To Help Displaced Hurricane Maria Victims

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is a new Philadelphia location to serve victims who remain displaced from Hurricane Maria, which made landfall more than seven-weeks ago on Sept. 20 in Puerto Rico.

The Disaster Assistance Services Center has moved to larger quarters inside the city-owned Rivera Recreation Center at 5th Street and Allegheny Avenue. Staff, including interpreters, are helping folks who self-evacuated from Puerto Rico, according to Noelle Foizen of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

“We opened the center when we identified that there were people that did not have friends and family here. They were just coming because they had to leave the island, and they heard that Philadelphia was a good place to go,” said Foizen.

The main point is to have them register with FEMA, to get federal assistance, including rental help.

“They can also register for SNAP, with Medicaid, get a driver’s license from Pennsylvania, and really start the recovery process here,” said Foizen.

At the rec center, people can also line up primary care providers, refill medications, and get access to personnel to talk about the trauma of the disaster.

All told, nearly 740 people across more than 360 families are getting recovery help.

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