With many Puerto Ricans joining the Youngstown and Warren communities since the hurricanes of 2017, a local community group worked to have a special day set aside to acknowledge the growing community.
Thrive Mahoning Valley worked with Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown and Warren Mayor Doug Franklin to have May 25 designated as Bienvenidos a Youngstown-Warren Day.
The proclamation states that both cities have a long history of welcoming all people to the community and celebrating diversity. They warmly welcome all Puerto Ricans who choose to resettle in Youngstown and Warren, the proclamation stated.
It’s been eight months since Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico.
Even now, there is still widespread damage and parts of the island are without utilities, and that has forced many residents to relocate.
“A lot of ’em are coming with, you know, with the shirts and clothes on their back. They’re having groups and organizations support them. How just to get here, now once they get settled.. Kids in school.. Food on the table,” said Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown.
The mayor says many of those, including children, speak little English.
He’s added staff to the city’s Law Department who are fluent in Spanish to help those families cut through the language barriers they may face.