New Effort To Understand Needs Of Puerto Rican Evacuees In Connecticut Underway

Feb 26, 2018

More than five months after Hurricane Maria, Connecticut researchers are working to better understand the needs of families who’ve relocated from the island to Hartford.

“The survey intends to answer the question, or at least clarify what are some of the basic needs, or most important needs that households receiving immigrants are experiencing,” said Charles Venator-Santiago, an associate professor at UConn who is running the survey.

The study is conducted in partnership with Hunter College and funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

It can be taken in Spanish or English, and it seeks to know whether Hartford residents are living with evacuees from the storm. It also asks survey takers to rate needs in order of importance -- including housing, food, clothing, and schools.

Venator-Santiago said the study is also looking to the future.

“There are still people leaving from the island and the crisis -- even though it’s abated a little bit in Puerto Rico, there’s still a crisis. There’s still large sections, swaths of the population without electricity,” he said. “We’re trying to assess whether people anticipate more migrants coming from Puerto Rico.”

The Hartford Foundation said it will use the data to work with community organizations and leaders to act on the results.