• Family from Puerto Rico sleeps in car while waiting for help from FEMA

    By: Lauren Seabrook


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Families are continuing to turn to Central Florida for help after losing everything in Puerto Rico.


    Many are still struggling as they wait for housing from FEMA.


    One family who came to Central Florida after Hurricane Maria said they were left with no choice but to sleep in a car in a Walmart parking lot while they wait to hear from FEMA about getting into a hotel.


    A FEMA spokesperson said the time varies as far as how long the average family must wait once they sign up to get shelter.


    More than 1,000 evacuees from Puerto Rico are currently in hotels.


    Walter Roman and his family left the island a month and a half after the storm and came to Orlando where they were told they could find help.


    For the past three nights, Roman, his wife and their two young boys, ages 3 and 4, have been sleeping in a car in a Walmart parking lot.


    In Spanish, Roman said he hasn’t been sleeping because he doesn’t want anything to happen to his family at night.


    When Channel 9 began reporting about Roman’s story, United Way gave the family a hotel voucher.



    Roman applied to get into a FEMA hotel room, but was told he likely won’t be approved until next week.


    Hundreds of families are still arriving in Central Florida daily, which means others are bound to face the same fate.


    Roman was a chef in Puerto Rico and is looking for a job.

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