New American Families Affected by Hurricane Ian | LIRS
URGENT: Immigrant children and families affected by Hurricane Ian need your support! Donate now.

New American Families Affected by Hurricane Ian

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Support immigrant families affected by Hurricane Ian today.

Over the past two days, Hurricane Ian has been barreling through the southeastern United States, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Among the thousands of Floridians that have been evacuated are nearly 200 immigrant children and families in the LIRS network.

Unfortunately, many new Americans live in high-risk areas, such as mobile and single-family homes near the canals and waterways and in the high-rise apartments of central and coastal Florida. The days before the storm’s arrival were a flurry of activity for LIRS and partner staff as they rushed to support the families while planning their own evacuation.

“We were working to provide the families with the locations of shelters closest to them and went over a safety plan of what to do after landfall,” shared Damaris Albino, an LIRS regional supervisor. “[It] was truly a nightmare for all Floridians. It’s a lot of devastation.”

She anticipates that those in our network will need a lot of support long after the stormwaters have receded. Many immigrant families are ineligible for government relief services, while others are unwilling to apply for or access even those benefits they are eligible for due to the inhospitable political environment.

To mitigate those difficulties, LIRS is collecting donations for our Family Support Fund for emergency needs such as temporary housing, diapers, food, and clean water. It is not the organization’s first time serving climate-displaced populations; after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, LIRS was there to provide direct support for repairs to storm-damaged homes, new binders and notebooks for children who lost all of their school supplies, and so much more.

And just as they did after Harvey, Damaris is confident that both LIRS families and all in her state will find a way to rebuild.

“My team will continue serving our communities today more than ever,” she says. “Floridians are strong and resilient, [and] we will overcome this situation stronger than ever, working hard until we recover our ‘Sunshine State’ again.”

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