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Million-Dollar Allocation of FEMA Funds for Nursing Homes in Ponce and San Juan

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Release Date:
Tháng 10 29, 2023

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico – As two disasters occurred within a two-year span - in 2017 with Hurricane María and later during the 2020 Earthquakes - the sisters and support staff at the Hermanitas de los Ancianos Desamparados nursing homes cared for their 110 residents and even provided shelter for nearby families. 

"The home is located in a fairly elevated area and entire families came to seek refuge here," said Sister Gladys Rosario, Director of Hogar Santa Marta, in Ponce. "The sisters took in these people and provided them with food and some small mattresses so they could rest, as they spent days and nights in the parking lot and surrounding areas."

In order to help this organization provide a better place for the hundreds of residents in its care, FEMA awarded nearly $6.6 million to repair damage to three of its four nursing homes: Hogar Santa Teresa Jornet in Cupey, Hogar Santa Marta in Ponce and Hogar Nuestra Señora de la Providencia in Puerta de Tierra.

Each home offers physical, emotional and spiritual care to the elderly. "Especially to those who are most helpless, due to illness, loneliness or economic situation," Sister Rosario emphasized. "Those who have some income contribute and those who do not, contribute nothing and receive the same services."

The Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator, José G. Baquero emphasized the importance of providing funds to organizations that care for vulnerable populations. “These obligations will will improve the quality of life of the residents and will provide a stronger and safer workplace for the sisters and staff members,” Baquero said.

The funds provided by the agency - about $4.8 million - helped Hogar Santa Marta make multiple infrastructure and electrical repairs. This included hazard mitigation repairs to protect the building against high winds and water infiltration damage.

"This will definitely allow us to enjoy a safe structure, without water leaks, with recreational areas, freshly painted and attractive, brand-new shutters and appliances, as well as power generators and solar panels, which will help keep medical equipment running in case of a power outage," added Sister Rosario.

On the other hand, the Hogar Nuestra Señora de la Providencia, located in Puerta de Tierra and built in 1913, was allocated over $637,200, of which almost $56,000 went to hazard mitigation works.

Hogar Santa Marta received approval for nearly $4.8 million in Public Assistance funds for infrastructure and electrical repairs. In addition, they cover hazard mitigation repairs to protect the building against high winds and water infiltration damage. Much of this work has already been completed.

"Our population will definitely enjoy the repairs that have been made and those that are in progress. This will allow them to enjoy a safe structure, without water leaks, with recreational areas, freshly painted and attractive, brand-new shutters and electric appliances, and also power generators and solar panels, which will help keep medical equipment running in case of a power outage," added Sister Rosario.

Furthermore, the Hogar Nuestra Señora de la Providencia, located in Puerta de Tierra and built in 1913, was allocated over $637,200, of which almost $56,000 went to hazard mitigation works.

Meanwhile, the agency awarded about $1.2 million for repairs and hazard mitigation to Hogar Santa Teresa Jornet, located on Las Cumbres Avenue, Cupey. Many of the proposed construction projects have been completed, including repairs to its concrete cisterns and embankment, removal and repair of asphalt roads, and exterior infrastructure work that involved excavations to ensure the integrity of the structure.

"Our activity center's rooftop, surrounding fence, doors and windows, air conditioning units and others have been upgraded, with FEMA's help, the nursing home is improving," said Mother Superior Sister Yolanda Cueto, Director of the nursing home.

Likewise, Executive Director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3), Eng. Manuel A. Laboy Rivera said, "At COR3, alongside FEMA, we assist the administrators of the homes for the elderly to provide the assistance they require in the reconstruction process. For this reason, we have advanced approximately $1.2 million through the Working Capital Advance pilot program to promote permanent jobs in multiple senior housing projects. In fact, in this housing concept we are also developing projects through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which provide energy resiliency, and among others."

To date, FEMA has awarded over $1.2 billion for about 1,100 permanent construction projects in private, nonprofit facilities throughout Puerto Rico, including long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

For more information about Puerto Rico’s recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339fema.gov/disaster/4473 and recovery.pr. Follow us on our social media at Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRicoFacebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.

Hogar Santa Teresa Jornet, San Juan, PR

White and brown two-story building entrance.

San Juan, Puerto Rico (October 17, 2023) – FEMA allocated nearly $6.5 million for repairs to elderly homes of the organization Hermanitas de los Ancianos Desamparados in San Juan and Ponce affected by Hurricane María. That figure includes nearly $1.2 million to Hogar Santa Teresa Jornet for repairs to its four-story building located in Cupey and nearly $500,000 for hazard mitigation measures. Photo FEMA/Eduardo Martínez Rivera

Hogar Santa Marta, Ponce, Puerto Rico

Two story beige building with outdoor terrace with brown tiles on floor.

Ponce, Puerto Rico (October 17, 2023) – FEMA approved nearly $4.8 million in Public Assistance funds for infrastructure and electrical repairs to Hogar Santa Marta. The funds include $2.5 million for work to protect the building from high winds and water infiltration damage in future events. Many of the proposed construction projects have been completed. Photo FEMA/Eduardo Martínez Rivera. 

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