LORAIN, Ohio-- It was a lush tree lined street in a vibrant neighborhood. The road is now clogged and ruined furniture and appliances line the roadway. A once tidy home is now full of smelly mud and the people who live there sleeping on soggy mattresses.
These friends from Lorain living in Puerto Rico are struggling to get by.
“We need food, we need water, we need help to rebuild the houses in Dorado. There's about 1,800 persons have no homes," a woman named Anita, who was born in Lorain, told Councilman Angel Arroyo.
Last week, he took supplies to the U.S. territory, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Arroyo said what he saw in Puerto Rico broke his heart, but he was lifted up by the spirit of people who are working together to survive.
“To hear them say this neighbor is cooking for everyone or this neighbor is washing everyone's clothes or this neighbor had a car to survive, so he's taking them around it's them uniting with nobody there," Arroyo said.
Arroyo said they took donated supplies directly to people who needed it. Supplies are still coming into Puerto Ricco, but the distribution has been slow.
There are people who almost two weeks later are still not getting help, especially those with medical issues. Severe diabetics and cancer patients have not been able to get assistance.
That's why when he goes down with more supplies this weekend, he's bring back people who need help.
“We're waiting on that phone call to say, 'Hey, come fill that plane with supplies,' because we know once we go there, we're going to bring someone back," Arroyo said. "We go out there, we're coming back and saving lives; people that are dying that have no support."
Arroyo said they hope to bring back as many people who have medical needs and family here to support them as he can.
More churches have come on board and are bring in more supplies. They’re currently collecting items at the Church of the North Coast on Leavitt Road in Lorain.
He says they plan on flying about 10,000 pounds of needed items Friday morning and hope to return to our area with people with medical needs this weekend.