ACL is pleased to announce that it is making disaster funding assistance grants available across our networks in response to the catastrophic damage (including flooding and infrastructure destruction) that Puerto Rico experienced as a result of Hurricane Fiona on September 18, 2022.
ACL has released $1,970,000 in supplementary disaster funding assistance to Puerto Rico in response to Hurricane Fiona under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, PL 117-328 and the Older Americans Act (OAA), which authorizes limited funding to state units on aging and OAA Title VI tribal grantees to help offset the costs of meeting the critical needs of older adults in recovery efforts following major disasters, including Hurricane Fiona. To receive the OAA funding, the eligible ACL grantee submitted an application to ACL describing how the funds will be used.
Many of the senior centers reported damage to their structures and equipment, such as generators and cisterns, which impacted their operations and thus their ability to assist older adult survivors — many of whom live alone in their communities. With this funding, the Puerto Rico Ombudsman Office for the Elderly will be able to continue to assist older adult survivors by reinstating the full operations of senior centers impacted by the hurricane. Senior centers are a lifeline for older adults in their communities and are vital partners in the recovery process journey. They serve approximately 17,340 participants, including providing meals. These funds will go towards replenishing emergency shelf-stable meals, generators, cisterns, and solar panels at senior centers — helping senior centers to support older Puerto Ricans in maximizing their independence, well-being, and health, as well as their families and caregivers in their communities.
Additionally, ACL is awarding $907,000 in supplementary disaster funding assistance to ACL’s disability programs in Puerto Rico. The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the University of Puerto Rico is receiving $203,600 and the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (DD Council) is receiving $250,000. In addition, two centers for independent living (CILs) are receiving funding.
Movimiento para el Alcance de Vida Independiente (MAVI) is being awarded $350,000 and Centro Pro Vida Independent Living is receiving $166,400.
The UCEDD, DD Council, and CIL networks will work collaboratively across Puerto Rico to support response and recovery efforts, including comprehensive case management, care coordination, information and referral, and provision of food assistance, durable medical equipment, or needed personal hygiene items. They also will work with people with disabilities, families, and professionals to increase the application of knowledge and skills to support people with them in inclusive recovery efforts.
- For questions about the OAA grant award, contact Kathleen Votava.
- For questions about the UCEDD grant award, contact Dana Fink.
- For questions about the DD Council awards, contact Allison Cruz.
- For questions about the CILs awards, contact Ed Ahern.