|Residents gather at Surfside Community Center after collapse of Champlain Towers. Source: Catholic News|
Since the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers Condo in Miami, staff members with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami have been on location to help coordinate victims response strategy, grief support, and other forms of humanitarian aid.
Speaking by phone from what she described as ground zero, Jackie Carrion, Senior Director of Community Based Services for Miami Catholic Charities, said, “I have worked hurricanes, but nothing like this: It is just a look of sadness you see on everyone’s face. It is heartbreaking.”
During the call, Carrion described how her agency was working to provide temporary housing for many of the families of affected persons until FEMA (United States Federal Emergency Management Agency) was able to provide temporary housing units and assistance grants to families.
In an interview with the Florida Catholic, Carrion noted the diversity of residents that call the North Miami Beach community home. Surfside is a popular destination spot for South Americans, tourists, Orthodox Jews, Russians and other tourists. As a result, bustling subcommunities have emerged to service these tourists from many of their home countries.
Among the many services Catholic Charities is providing, they are focused on providing transitional housing assistance and mental health services.
“I saw a lot of families supporting each other (today),” Carrion said. “There was a moment when the police called for a member of each family to go into the building (for private consultation). People want to know what is happening to their relatives, friends and loved ones.”
As recovery efforts remain ongoing, Carrion emphasized that Catholic Charities is here for the long haul and if a person needs help they should reach out.
She remarked, “I was able to speak with Father Sosa, who mentioned he was there earlier that day as well, and while I was speaking with him someone approached him requesting some kind of assistance and he attended to them.”
If you or your loved one has been impacted by the Champlain Towers Condo collapse and need assistance, Catholic Charities can be contacted by visiting https://www.ccadm.org/ .
Source: Catholic News