CHICAGO -- Chicago has welcomed more than 1600 Puerto Ricans displaced after Hurrican Maria ravaged the island. But many of them are struggling to find basic needs.
Those who come here face all kinds of challenges – from housing to health care. Some haven’t had access to their needed medication for chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart conditions for weeks. Others have been exposed to infectious diseases and contaminated drinking water.
One organization in Humboldt Park is trying to fix that.
The clinic is connecting the displaced with doctors and offering free health care to hurricane victims every Friday this month.
Theresa Siaw of Omini Health Care decided to open the clinic saying, “We’re trying to get them on their feet with the little that we have for them.”
Doctor Pilar Ortega is an emergency physician at Illinois Masonic Hospital who is volunteering in the clinic.
“We do feel a connection to those who are suffering, there’s so many Puerto Ricans in Chicago and many of them have family or friends – so we want to do our part to help.”
Displaced Puerto Ricans need to register with FEMA and be able to produce some kind of utility bill or proof of residence then they can have access to this free care.
This clinic is also collecting donations for the island – medical supplies, water and other items in the ongoing effort to help Puerto Rico.