… and it’s my hope that we’ll welcome them with open arms. Puerto Rico (and the Virgin Islands) are devastated; the Trump administration is responding with sadly predictable callousness, stupidity, and incompetence.
Folks will be here soon.
According to state officials, several state agencies are beginning to meet to develop plans for helping anyone who flees Puerto Rico, once it is possible to leave the island. This could include providing financial assistance, housing, health care, jobs or reunification services.
Baker said the state wants to be in a position where people can be met at the airport and signed up for whatever types of federal emergency benefits they are eligible for. State officials will also try to ensure people have the case management services they need.
Coping with student trauma is a fact of life for districts like Boston, with immigrant students arriving every week from parts of Central America and Africa marked by violence and poverty.
But then there are the big disasters that send hundreds of students into the district. The district arrived at this all-hands-on-deck brainstorming process — bringing in representatives from across the city’s civic leadership — after Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti.
But it’s not always easy. Farah Assiraj, the director of organizing at the Boston Teachers Union, says the district feels the pain of budget cuts especially at moments like this: “We need more social workers, we need more counselors, we need more psychologists — we need the resources.”
This is a test for us, as well. It will require MA residents at every level to dig deep and respond generously. I’d love for folks to post opportunities to help out — either with money or time, here in MA.
As far as aid to Puerto Rico itself: There’s the Hispanic Federation and Direct Relief are both four-star charities; Freedom Credit Union in Springfield MA is raising funds. And PBS has a list of charities doing work on Hurricane Maria relief.
… and yes, this may be the way of the future. Global warming will indeed make hurricanes stronger and wetter, which will drive people from their homes. We should get used to the idea of welcoming climate refugees — if we don’t ourselves end up sharing that fate.