Emergency Relief Fund for LGBTQ Boricuas

For: LGBTQ Puerto Rican Evacuees of Hurricane Maria
Philadelphia, PA
Organizer: Allison Harris and Raquel Salas Rivera
Emergency Relief Fund for LGBTQ Boricuas (LGBTQ Puerto Rican Evacuees of Hurricane Maria)
$14,295
of $10,000 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 246 donors

The Story

*English Version*


Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico on September 17th. The impact of this hurricane has not only left the island almost unrecognizable, but has also left the island without power, communication, food, water, gas and medical resources.
The past two weeks have been devastating and deeply traumatic. Resources are not getting to the people, and people are dying. 


Our POZ friends do not have access to theirs meds and our friends of trans experience do not have access to hormones. If they are "safe," they are in severely transphobic spaces.  After being in minimal touch with friends on the island, tragically, it is clear that leaving the island may be the only they way will survive. So we would like to offer them the option of coming here.
Raquel and I are coordinating this fundraiser to purchase plane tickets and facilitate resources for evacuees upon their arrival in Philadelphia. We are also seeking temporary housing and reaching out to medical providers to get folks the care they need upon arrival.


Please give what you can, and don't hesitate to reach out with questions, ideas, thoughts, whatever.


Thank you so much.
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*Versión en español*


El huracán María llegó a la isla de Puerto Rico el 17 de septiembre. El impacto ha dejado un Puerto Rico en muchos sentidos irreconocible y también ha dejando una isla sin luz, sin comunicación, sin comida, sin agua, sin gasolina y sin recursos médicos.
Las últimas dos semanas han sido devastadores y sumamente traumáticas. Los recursos no están llegando a las personas y muchos han muerto. 


Nuestros amigxs VIH positivxs no pueden acceder sus medicamentos y nuestrxs amigxs de experiencia trans no pueden acceder sus hormonas. Si están “segurxs,” frecuentemente están en espacios transfóbicos. Después de tener un mínimo de contacto con nuestras amistades en la isla, trágicamente, nos queda claro que salir de Puerto Rico podría ser la único opción para muchxs. Así que nos gustaría ofrecerles estadía aquí en Filadelfia. 


Allison y yo estamos coordinando un recogido de fondos para poder comprar pasajes y facilitar recursos para aquellxs que deseen venir. También estamos buscando hospedajes temporeros y contactando proveedores médicos para aquellxs personas que necesiten recursos médicos tan pronto lleguen a Filadelfia. 


Por favor, aporten lo que puedan, y no tengan miedo de hacernos preguntas u ofrecer sugerencias e ideas.


Mil gracias.


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Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 20, 2017

Posted on December 20, 2017

Gracias y gracias y gracias.

I wanted to post an update, just to let everyone who donated know what has been going on.  We will be closing the fund officially with the end of 2017. We raised almost $14000 which lost about $500 to fees, but is soooo much money. The support was really mind-blowing, and I cannot describe the shock and gratitude we all have felt in response to y'all.

For transparency, I wanted to share a little about where that money has gone. Since October, we were able to bring and set up five people in Philadelphia from Puerto Rico. We were able to connect them with medical care and social services via Mazzoni Center. Everyone now has health insurance and food assistance in place, as well as a secure and comfortable place to live guaranteed for the next six months. They have been connected to legal support for attaining name changes or additional benefits if needed. 

Our next steps are moving toward sustainability, getting jobs, English classes, a couple surgeries are coming, and building ways to support themselves long-term. 

Honestly, we expected more people to come, but those who could stay or find their own way, did. The folks who took advantage of our program turned out to be the absolute highest need, referred mainly from either social workers and/or the Hope Clinic, who has been doing most of the LGBTQ community survival work in Puerto Rico. 

We bought 10 plane tickets in total, donated travel expenses to the Trans Task Force, who travelled from town to town on the island collecting information and connecting LGBTQ people to medicine and services like Hope Clinic. The rest of the money has/will be going to rent and additional support for basic needs that come up until evacuees are able to be self-sustaining.

This was a serious learning curve, and I think we just started to get the hang of it, now that we are wrapping up. The trauma of what has and is continuing to happen in Puerto Rico is and has been pretty debilitating. It has also been an incredible coming together, and a real effort of love. 

I am available to talk more if you are curious about more details, but mainly, I just wanted to thank you one more time on behalf of the evacuees, and Raquel and I. 

Puerto Rico is still in serious need of support. There is still an absence of every kind of resource throughout the island. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to know other places to donate to. 

In gratitude and solidarity,

Allison y Raquel


Posted on October 19, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on October 19, 2017

COME THRU!! TONIGHT AT 7PM!

For those of you in Philly, we have an additional fundraising event tonight hosted by DAME LUZ, Apiary Magazine and Sanctuary Poets. It will start at 7pm with a poetry reading and then move into dance party. The event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/810023239177504/   


Posted on October 13, 2017

Posted on October 13, 2017

We got some press (for those of you that aren't our fb friends :)

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/couple-raises-thousands-lgbtq-hurricane-survivors-puerto-rico-n810161

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