Salvation Army Case Managers Reaching Out to Help Evacuees in Florida
Salvation Army volunteers and case managers are providing services as evacuees from Puerto Rico arrive at airports in Florida. Governor Rick Scott signed a Host State Agreement to establish disaster relief centers where Florida state agencies and non-governmental organizations partner to provide resources as available.
At the Miami International Airport Disaster Relief Center, Chaplain Raymond Boyd of the Miami Area Command leads The Salvation Army team that has seen as many as 300 individuals a day. Many of the families that have arrived have one set of clothing and are not sure how they will get additional items for their children. Chaplain Boyd is distributing items like food boxes, toiletries and feminine hygiene products.
“Some evacuees have family to join in Florida, but others aren’t sure what their next steps will be,” said Chaplain Boyd. “Our goal is to connect
them with community services across Miami-Dade and make sure that they
have a place to go. In a few cases we have provided a place to stay in our family shelter for a night or two while they connect with resources on the ground.”
At the Orlando International Airport, The Salvation Army is distributing 500 meal kits, hygiene packages and baby supply packs per week. For families that have no additional clothing items as a result of Hurricane Maria, The Salvation Army is distributing vouchers to Salvation Army Family Stores in the Orlando area. Families with young children are receiving financial assistance to help get a change of clothes and clean undergarments.
“We are seeing children in clothing that they have been wearing for days,” said Major Ted Morris, Orlando area commander. “We spend a few minutes talking to the family making sure they have basic food necessities covered and a little money for needed clothing.”
The Florida Division has distributed thousands of food and hygiene kits and has arranged and shipped loads of supplies of water, baby supplies and hygiene kits by tractor-trailer truck to Salvation Army teams on the ground in Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, The Salvation Army continues to help families across Florida recover from Hurricane Irma. As of Oct. 18, The Salvation Army has distributed more than $4.2 million in aid to Irma-affected Floridians. To continue meeting the needs across southwest Florida, The Salvation Army is setting up disaster assistance centers in Fort Myers and Naples. The centers will help by providing financial assistance and distribution of donated supplies. Case managers will help Hurricane Irma survivors navigate local, state and federal resources available to rebuild homes and families across south Florida.