NYC center opens to help people displaced by hurricanes

New York City opened a service center in Harlem Thursday morning and dozens of families displaced by natural disasters came to get help.

Richard Quinones was one of the people who came. He is still grappling with how much his life has changed. He was living in Puerto Rico and is now staying in New York City after being displaced by Hurricane Maria.

The center, located inside the Julia Du Burgos Latino Cultural Center, will offer critical services, including help with attaining health insurance, school enrollment, and food assistance, according to Herman Schaffer, an assistant commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department.

The center will aid hurricane victims from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, and Florida. Many of those seeking help are now staying with family members who already live in the city.

The mayor's office didn't specify how much running the center costs. Officials said that existing city services, staff, and volunteers will support the operations. It will remain open as long as the need is there.

The center will be open seven days a week. Anyone seeking assistance for themselves or loved ones can set up an appointment ahead of time by calling 311 or they can walk in.