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Hurricane Maria Displacement Program Officially Ends In Connecticut

Jessica Hill
Elionet Saez Martin of Puerto Rico works with his kindergarten teacher at school in New Britain. As Hurricane Maria churned toward Puerto Rico, Elionet's mother put him and his 9-year-old brother on a plane to be with their grandfather in Connecticut.

The State of Connecticut has finished spending about $1 million to house refugees from Hurricane Maria, a storm that struck Puerto Rico in 2017.

About 13,000 people evacuated Puerto Rico to Connecticut in the first six months after the hurricane. Connecticut has a higher percentage of Puerto Rican residents than any other state.

Governor Ned Lamont credited work from several Connecticut agencies, including the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

“It’s at times like this that your government stands up and takes care of folks in need, when over 10,000 folks from Puerto Rico, our brothers and sisters, leaving that tragedy came and found a welcoming place.”

Lamont said most families have returned to Puerto Rico. About 450 families decided to stay in Connecticut.

Along with housing and education, the state provided services like outpatient counseling and medication management at clinics in five Connecticut cities.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.