KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Chanting that they're “For Puerto Rico,” demonstrators marched in support of evacuees this week in Downtown Kissimmee.
“Wherever you walk, wherever you go, may God always be with you," said State Senator Victor Torres.
During the demonstration, organizers took a page right out of the "good book," washing the feet of evacuees, in an act of service.
“In Jesus' own moment of abandonment, he came and served, and many of the families here feel abandoned. They feel forgotten," said priest Jose Rodriguez.
Evacuees say they feel abandoned by the closure of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration office in Kissimmee and the closure of the Disaster Recovery Center in Orlando. Both closures are leaving evacuees feeling like they have nowhere to turn for help finding jobs, healthcare, and most importantly, permanent housing.
Officials with the government of Puerto Rico said another location of the Federal Affairs Administration has already opened up, but Sen. Torres said his constituents need action now.
"You're going to open up another office. You better start doing something for the people, because we have long term leasing. We have other options from Puerto Rico that the governor can institute."
Sen. Torres said evacuees should receive the same opportunities as residents on the island, arguing that evacuees, forced out by Maria, deserve a fighting chance here in Central Florida.
"I have one gentleman, he works out of Tampa but lives here in Kissimmee. He drives every day to work on lawns in Tampa. This is what I'm talking about. This is a reality of life. They're willing to work."
Maria evacuees in hotels will need to be out by May 14. Torres says before then, a plan needs to be in place so that evacuees aren’t left out in the street.