Hartford Foundation-Sponsored Survey of Displaced Persons from Hurricanes Moving into Region is Underway

In the aftermath of the hurricanes Maria and Irma, there has been little data on the long-term impact of displaced individuals and families relocating to Greater Hartford.   

The University of Connecticut’s El Instituto: Institute for Latina/o Caribbean and Latin American Studies and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College have launched a survey to better understand the long-term impact of displacement on the Greater Hartford region. Individuals can fill out the online survey in English and Spanish at  or share the link with others. The survey is supported by a $47,280 grant from the Hartford Foundation. 

“The Hartford region has one of the highest concentrations of people of Puerto Rican and West Indian origin in the United States,” said Scott Gaul, the Hartford Foundation’s director of Research and Evaluation. “We are enthusiastic about the work that UConn and the Centro PR will be doing to understand the long-term impacts on our region to help government, schools, nonprofits and philanthropic organizations work to accommodate displaced persons.” 

Field researchers will also be canvassing at sites throughout the region including nonprofit organizations, medical services providers, transportation hubs, local libraries, community centers and grocery stores. Respondents will have the option to answer the survey using a portable web‐based application and will be provided with a $10 gift card to encourage their participation and responseThose who choose to participate in the study will complete a short, confidential questionnaire about people they may know in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands and their family/household here in Connecticut.  

“Our hope is that the information gathered by this survey can help identify some of the needs of households that have been receiving Puerto Ricans and U.S. Virgin Islanders who were displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and who are now living in the Hartford region,” said Professor Charles R. Venator-Santiago, the Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies. “We hope that the information provided by the responses can further support all relief efforts in the Hartford region.” 

Results from the survey will help inform long-term planning and action by funders, nonprofits, municipalities and schools.  The Foundation will work with community organizations and leaders in the region to disseminate and act on survey results.   

The Hartford Foundation recently awarded $230,000 in grants from its Respond-Rebuild-Renew Fund to provide support services to residents impacted by relocation from the Caribbean and other disaster areas. 

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $700 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.