Given the extent of housing losses that persist nine months after Hurricanes Irma and María, MCS Foundation has taken an active role in the reconstruction of Puerto Rico by joining forces with PathStone, a nobprofit community development and human service organization based in Rochester, New York.
The initial project between the two organizations will result in safe housing for two families in Ponce, Puerto Rico, whose homes were affected by the storm, the nonprofits confirmed.
“Over the past few months, it has become very clear to us that there are many families still without safe housing. We felt compelled to look for projects to do our part to bring visibility to this problem, especially because the lack of safe housing can have a very significant impact on a person’s overall health, said Liana Marante-O’Drobinak, MCS Foundation’s executive director.
“We were excited to find and establish this partnership with Pathstone and we were particularly impressed that they not only focus on rebuilding and repairing but the methods they use are efficient and smart, leveraging existing resources to providing safer, decent homes for low-income families who have lost everything and deserve a fresh start,” she said.
“As we lend hand to these two individuals whose houses we are helping rebuild or repair, we are breathing hope into the entire community as well; and that fuels our eagerness to keep helping,” Marante-O’Drobinak said.
For her part, María G. Rodríguez-Collazo, PathStone’s director of Housing Programs, said “We thank the MCS Foundation for supporting our home rehabilitation program in times when Puerto Rico needs all the help it can get. Ramón and Aida are also very grateful as their homes will finally be repaired and in Aida’s case, rebuilt.”
MCS Foundation and PathStone expect to see Aida’s new housing unit completed in around five months, while Ramón’s roof replacement is slated to be ready in about 60 days.
The MCS Foundation launched the Green for Puerto Rico campaign in October to raise funds to support projects aimed at facilitating the island’s recovery after Hurricanes Irma and María. The campaign was a success, raising the total of its $1.5 million goal.
In addition to PathStone, other organizations that have benefitted from the Green for Puerto Rico campaign include Acción Social de Puerto Rico — an entity the organization collaborated with to create 24 laundromats throughout the island and a sewing center in Guayama; and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, which has been able to reopen some of its centers affected by the hurricane as a result. Other recipients also include www.connectrelief.com, a Caras Las Américas initiative through which victims in need are connected with available assistance; and the YMCA, where its successful $200,000 matching funds campaign was conducted to continue providing relief to Puerto Rico.