Mayor de Blasio & Wife Chirlane McCray Announce Donation For Puerto Rico
New York City is going to donate $100,000 to help fund mental health services in Puerto Rico through its non-profit, The Mayor’s Fund to Advance the City of New York, Mayor de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray–the fund’s chairwoman–announced on Friday.
The money will be matched with another $100,000 from the Hispanic Federation.
“We say with warmth and with love and with joy, we call Puerto Rico the sixth borough and we feel that close, that close,” de Blasio announced. “We all feel so deeply connected. When the hurricane hit, it was like it hit us.”
The actual announcement of the funding was made not by the mayor but by McCray, who in addition to chairing the Mayor’s Fund, also runs a city mental health program titled Thrive NYC.
“Healing emotional pain is not like rebuilding homes or cell towers or roads. The terrible losses, the trauma, the stress of an event like this have long lasting consequences and it takes time for people to realize that they need help for those things that are internal,” McCray said.
The gift also represented a bit of city business for de Blasio and McCray — who are currently in attendance at the politics-focused Somos conference, according to City Hall.
This money from this donation will go to an organization called HealthproMed, specifically to clinics in the islands of Vieques and Culebra. The Vieques clinic will use the funding to have two psychologists, including one dedicated to children, on hand every week — up from one once a week.
Another plus: a psychiatrist will also be at the clinic at least twice a month, the city announced. In Culebra, the clinic — which is operating on a generator–will be able to add a psychiatrist twice a month and increase its mental health schedule.
McCray said Puerto Rico was the first place she and de Blasio traveled on vacation as a couple. “We have so many friends and people who work with us who have family here, I don’t think I can overstate the closeness of these communities to us,” she said.
De Blasio also went in on President Trump for the federal response to the storm — saying it would have been vastly different if a state like Connecticut had faced such devastation. “It’s all about race and ethnicity and language and it’s not acceptable, it should be one standard for all Americans, and there’s still so much work to be done that has not been done,” he said.