Five hundred families living in and around Caguas received tools and supplies to repair their homes through a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children, the organizations announced Tuesday.
The organizations are distributing the first 500 of 2,000 shelter repair kits that are designed to help low-income families across Puerto Rico make interim repairs to homes damaged by Hurricane María.
“Habitat for Humanity is committed to Puerto Rico’s long-term recovery,” said Amanda Silva, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico. “These shelter repair kits will help families make immediate repairs to their homes as we begin the multi-year recovery across the island.”
“Save the Children is dedicated to making sure children are safe and able to recover physically and emotionally after the devastating storm,” said Casey Harrity, emergency response team leader for Save the Children in Puerto Rico.
“Providing families with a way to repair their homes is an important step toward getting children into a safe environment and allowing them to regain a sense of normalcy and routine,” Harrity said.
The shelter repair kits contain the tools and supplies necessary to perform critical home repairs in Puerto Rico, including large tarps for temporary roof repairs, hammers, flashlights and ropes.
The remaining kits will be distributed in different cities on the island this month, Habitat officials confirmed.
The shelter repair kits are the first phase of Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat Hammers Back hurricane recovery initiative in Puerto Rico. Habitat has pledged to assist more than 6,000 families in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida following the devastation of the hurricanes this year.
Habitat for Humanity is developing a long-term recovery strategy in Puerto Rico as assessments are performed and conditions permit.
Jaime L. Fonalledas, chair of Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico, said the nonprofit is in it for the long-haul, and expects to build at least 20 new homes for Hurricane victims in coming months.
Furthemore, he said getting people back to their homes helps rebuild morale and in a way helps the island’s economic recovery. (For more, please watch the interview above.)