Gov. Scott Highlights Resources for Housing and Other Needs Available to Families Displaced by Hurricane Maria
By Kathy Foster | June 28, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today provided additional information regarding resources available to individuals affected by Hurricane Maria’s devastating impact, especially those from Puerto Rico who were displaced and are now in Florida. The Transitional Sheltering Assistance program (TSA), a federal lodging assistance program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is ending on Friday, June 29, following a decision by the Puerto Rican government to not request an extension from FEMA.
Governor Scott said, “Since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Florida has done everything possible to help our neighbors both on the island and here in our state. After multiple extensions, FEMA’s TSA program is ending this week and Florida does not have the authority to extend this federal program; it is a decision that must be made by the government of Puerto Rico. We are committed to taking every possible action to ensure every family displaced by Maria in Florida receives the best possible care.
“Since I took office in 2011, we have invested more than $1 billion in Florida’s affordable housing programs. In fact, just this year I fought for and secured more than $123 million for affordable and workforce housing across Florida’s communities. Florida is proud to be an incredible melting pot and the most welcoming state in the nation and we will continue to work with federal and local partners to help these families while in Florida.”
MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES FOR THOSE DISPLACED BY HURRICANE MARIA IN FLORIDA:
For families impacted by Maria and in continued need of resources, the first and best place to contact is the emergency management office in their current county of residence. To obtain the contact information for Florida county emergency management offices, please visit:www.FloridaDisaster.org/counties.
Next, those seeking resources or assistance should visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/info/Maria. This page contains a consolidated list of federal, state, local, volunteer and commercial resources that are available to individuals and families impacted by the storm.
Options remain for those who need housing and help with their permanent housing plans. We encourage families to:
Immediate Disaster Case Management Hotline: For additional resources to support your recovery, you may also contact FEMA’S Immediate Disaster Case Management Hotline at 1-855-742-5993. Representatives are able to assist in both English and Spanish.
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) HOUSING RESOURCES:
Evacuees who received housing vouchers from HUD in Puerto Rico can transfer those vouchers to Florida. Evacuees should contact their County HUD office to coordinate the transfer. To find your local county HUD office please click here.
ADDITIONAL LINKS AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE VIA THE FDEM MARIA INFO PAGE INCLUDE:
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) RESOURCES:
Individuals impacted by Hurricane Maria can apply for FEMA disaster assistance by:
Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 1-800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and a TTY my call 800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available.
DISASTER LOSS DEDUCTIONS:
Disaster Loss Deductions – Click here for guidance from the IRS on how to deduct losses from a disaster.
JOBS IN ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM:
Visit http://www.OCPS.net, click on “Jobs & Careers” then click on “Search for Vacancies” for openings.
VETERAN AFFAIRS | HURRICANE MARIA EFFORTS:
Click here for more information on resources available to veterans impacted by Hurricane Maria. Veterans from storm-affected areas who require immediate assistance may contact the Health Resource Center Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571.
HOUSING AND LODGING INFORMATION:
Visit the sites below to find available housing and lodging in Florida:
DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE:
Individuals from Puerto Rico who are interested in filing a Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) claim may do so online at http://www.trabajo.pr.gov/.
An initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim can be filed by clicking on the label titled, “Reclamación Inicial,” and a continued UI claim can be filed by clicking on the label titled, “Reclamación Semanas Subsiguientes.” Individuals interested in filing a DUA claim are encouraged to file an initial UI claim online, as eligibility must be determined.
Individuals who do not have internet access may call the Puerto Rico Department of Labor’s call center, at 787-945-7900 to file either an initial UI claim or a continued UI claim.
SALVATION ARMY IN ORANGE COUNTY:
Visit 400 West Colonial Drive, no appointment needed.
Hours of operation:
Monday through Friday 9-noon | 1-4 p.m.
FEMA HURRICANE WORKFORCE:
If you are interested in employment related to hurricane recovery, please click here for available job openings with FEMA.
EMERGENCY RELIEF ITEMS:
Leadership and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has established the following in support of those impacted by Hurricane Maria:
– Emergency relief locations:
– Employment services
– Education placement
– Health referrals
– Disaster relief paperwork
For more details on these services please click here.
SUPPLMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP):
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as The Food Stamp Program, is now available to Puerto Ricans in Florida. This program helps people with low income to buy food. Recipients can buy all food items such as breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy, and plants and seeds.
Customers can apply for SNAP by visiting the Department of Children and Families (DCF) ACCESS Online Website on any computer with internet connection. If the customer does not have computer access, DCF community partner sites are locations where customers can apply also. Paper Applications for assistance can be mailed, faxed, or returned to your local service center once downloaded from the ACCESS forms page on the DCF internet site.
FREE SCHOOL MEALS FOR DISASTER EVACUEES:
To find out how to get school meals for your children, please contact the Department of Education Homeless Liaison: 850-245-0479
For more information on the National School Lunch Program call: 1-800-504-6609
Para saber cómo obtener comidas escolares gratis para sus hijos, por favor comuníquese con la persona de enlace de Los Desamparados del Departamento de Educación: (850) 245-0479
Para más información sobre el Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares llamar al:1-800-504-6609
THE EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TEFAP):
The Emergency Food Assistance Program provides USDA commodities to low-income households statewide. Individuals/households who qualify for SNAP, TANF, SSI or Medicaid automatically qualify for TEFAP.
Individuals interested in applying for TEFAP will need to do so by visiting a distribution site (food pantry) in their community. To locate a food pantry that provides TEFAP foods, please visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com/TEFAP or call the corresponding State Contracted Recipient Agency (Food Bank) below. The food pantry will provide information regarding the availability of TEFAP foods, distribution dates/times and the application process.
In addition, individual may contact 1-800-504-6609 for more information:
COMMODITY SUPPLMENTAL FOOD PROGRAM (CSFP):
CSFP works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods.
Individuals interested in participating in the CSFP must meet the following criteria:
1. Must be 60 years of age or older,
2. Household income must fall at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level, and
3. Must reside in the county where their local agency (distribution site) is located.
Below is the list of counties in Florida that currently participate in CSFP, along with the contact information:
Feeding the Gulf Coast | Bay, Holmes and Walton Counties | 850-626-1332 ext. 2105