WXXI AM News

Puerto Ricans continue to seek refuge in Rochester

Feb 13, 2018

Local efforts to help the thousands of people from Puerto Rico who have sought refuge in Rochester are ongoing.

President and CEO of Ibero American Action League, Hilda Rosario Escher, says the organization's resource center is open every Thursday, and every Thursday they see more Puerto Ricans moving to this area.

"Once you have people who have come and settled, then they bring other family members from Puerto Rico.  We still have people in shelters and in the hotels. But we continue our efforts," she says.

Ibero President and CEO Hilda Rosario Escher, at Ibero's main office which has just been renamed the Laurence Tracy Administration Building
Credit Alex Crichton

Escher says they had to move their resource center from its Clifford Avenue location to Our Lady of the Americas Church because frozen pipes burst.

She says the resource center will remain there at the church until the Clifford Avenue site is fixed.

Escher says Ibero is working to meet the refugees many needs, including housing, transportation and employment.

She says her organization, in conjunction with the State Labor Department and Unidos por Puerto Rico, is planning a job fair...

"Because there are a lot of people that are here who are really desperately looking for a job," she says.

It's expected thousands of Puerto Ricans will move here in the wake of the storms that hit the island last fall.

More Puerto Ricans come to Rochester than go to the New York City area, according to Escher.