As we near the start of a new hurricane season on June 1, it’s hard not to think of the ongoing devastation Hurricane Maria inflicted on Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017. By the time Hurricane Maria made its way across the island, many families were left with nothing. All their personal belongings, the roof over their heads, in many cases, their livelihoods — gone. Once the calm after the storm came, many were left in what has become the nation’s longest blackout in history, leaving them no other choice but to leave the only place they’ve known as home and make their way to the U.S. mainland.

The people of Puerto Rico are still reeling from the effects of Maria today.

Since Hurricane Maria, over 200,000 Puerto Ricans have resettled in Florida, with many making their way into the Central Florida region — Orlando in particular.

As senior state director for Hispanic Federation, part of our mission is to ensure that we support Hispanic families and strengthen our communities in the areas of education, health, immigration, civic engagement and many others.

This is why I am so proud that Hispanic Federation has joined forces with other amazing organizations, from faith to community service groups — including LatinoJustice, Mi Familia Vota, the Episcopal Office of Latino Assistance and many others — to form Abrazo Boricua. Abrazo Boricua is a new coalition designed to maximize our impact and serve as a “one-stop shop” to the Puerto Rican families arriving in Orlando seeking to rebuild their lives.

Migrating to a new place is never easy. It takes time. Acclimating to a new community and a new way of living comes with stress and uncertainty. As a community, we hold a responsibility to come together and ensure our fellow Americans have the tools they need in order to successfully relocate to the Orlando area and become full participants in the local economy and civic society. It is our duty to help reduce barriers to employment, increase job retention and employer satisfaction, and promote economic stability and prosperity in our community.

That’s why Abrazo Boricua will focus its collaborative resources to assist with housing, work-force preparation, legal assistance, medical and mental-health referrals, and civic engagement. It is through our combined effort that we will equip our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico with the tools they need to succeed and empower them with the knowledge to thrive. We’re also conducting a comprehensive survey throughout the Orlando area to better understand the needs of those arriving from Puerto Rico.

Our fellow Americans arriving from Puerto Rico need our help now more than ever. Recently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program, which allows survivors from Hurricane Maria who are unable to return to their damaged homes to get temporary shelter in a hotel or motel, will be extended until June 30. The short-term duration of TSA underscores the uncertainty and instability that these families face every day. Without more effective relief efforts on the island, these families live with the constant uncertainty that they could be on the street one week to the next.

Our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico are not alone in their time of need, and as a diverse coalition of service focused organizations, we will continue to step up, provide the resources and empower the community. We can only expect that the state and federal government do their part for our fellow Americans.