Bienvenidos a Cleveland - Puerto Rico Relief Project

December 1, 2017

Bienvenidos a Cleveland began through a collaboration between Cuyahoga Community College, Esperanza Inc., the Spanish American Committee and Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®)  launched a website supporting Bienvenidos a Cleveland, a collaboration project designed to assist Puerto Rican families relocating to Cleveland following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

The website — www.tri-c.edu/bienvenidosacle — provides an online directory of agencies and organizations offering resources to arriving families. The goal is to ease their transition to Northeast Ohio.

“Cleveland is a welcoming community,” said Alex Johnson, president of the College. “We are coming together to provide whatever these families need to bring a sense of normalcy back to their lives.”

Hundreds of families have arrived in Cleveland since late September and reached out for support from community-based agencies such as the Spanish American Committee, Cleveland’s oldest and largest Hispanic social service agency.

The biggest challenge has been securing housing, as many of the displaced families have little or no income. Resources also are being sought for employment, transportation, medical needs, food, household items and other needs.

Hurricane Maria ranks as one of the worst natural disasters on record after killing 55 people and causing more than $95 billion in damage to the United States territory. An estimated 200,000 families expect to leave the island to escape the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

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