More than 170 families displaced by earthquakes in Puerto Rico start new life in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (WJW) -- More than 170 families from Puerto Rico are now living in Cleveland after their homes and villages were destroyed by the earthquakes.

One of those is Wilyannie Martinez and her two children.

"Every single morning we feel the land shaking. My kids can't sleep through the night or the day. They can't go to sleep because we're really really scared," Martinez told FOX 8 through a translator.

Even though many of the families have relatives here, they are still starting from scratch and have a lot of immediate needs.

"Coats are very important, kids coats, adult coats, winter coats. Being in an island right now,it's 85 degrees, moving to Cleveland where it's not as cold as it used to be but it's still," explained Spanish American Committee Housing Manager Asdrid Ortega.

The Spanish American Committee is working with partners across the area to help people find work and get medical benefits.

Martinez said it's been a tough experience and hopes to get back on her feet soon.

“I want to build a good future for my kids and my self. I want to work and put my kids in a school so that way they can have good future and and erase everything in their mind because they're really really affected emotionally," Martinez said.

The Spanish American Committee is asking for donations in the way of new or slightly used coats and winter gear. They can also use toiletries, diapers and even small toys.

For more information, you can call them at 216-961-2100 or visit their website.

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