I’m sharing details from a press release from our friends at GLBT Community Center of Central Florida as well as from posts on the Orlando Health FB page in an effort to compile a list of ways in which you can help during this time.
Victims Family Assistance Center
The City of Orlando, in partnership with federal, state, local and community agencies has opened the Family Assistance Center (FAC) to address the immediate needs and provide information, support and resources to those directly affected by the Pulse tragedy. Services will be available to family members of the deceased; those suffering physical and emotional injuries; club staff and patrons and others directly impacted by this tragedy. Click here for more information.
We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support from within our community and from all around the world. To date we have collected $414,030 in victim relief donations and have received numerous pledges for assistance which are still in the process. The Board of Directors for The Center has pledged and will ensure that 100% of funds collected by The Center for victim relief will be used for the purpose. To that end, we are in discussions with The City of Orlando and Equality Florida regarding options to partner together in order to maximize the assistance to victims but also to be efficient as possible in the administration of these funds. The Board of Directors for The Center take their responsibility over these funds very seriously, and therefore is proceeding diligently to ensure that any such partnership will result in the administration of the victim fund as pledged. The Board knows there is an immediate need for assistance and will work as quickly as it can to begin disbursing these donations to affected parties. Click here if you would like to pledge a donation.
Hispanic Service Centers To Open “Proyecto Somos Orlando”
Proyecto Somos Orlando will be housed in the same facility as the Hispanic Family Counseling (HFC) building on the culturally competent mental health services and expanding services for the heart of the Hispanic community. HFC in South Orlando falls in the area with the largest Hispanic populations. The center has additional branch offices in Kissimmee, a predominantly Puerto Rican community, to provide crisis counseling for those affected in Osceola County and surrounding areas. HFC is located at 6900 South Orange Blossom Trail Orlando, FL 32809.
Zebra Coalition Continues Crisis Hotline Services
The Zebra Coalition Crisis Hotline is available for any member of your community 24/7 throughout the week. Phone: 407-373-8952.
Long Term Mental Health Services In Place For Orlando
The Central Florida LGBT organizations have responded effectively to the mental health needs of our community. During the first week following the massacre, we mobilized over 500 counselors to private businesses and organizations, to the memorial on the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center lawn, and to the area LGBT nightclubs. We have done our best to mitigate the initial pain, but we understand the real work of helping our community heal will come in the following weeks, months and even years. As such, we stand ready to meet our community’s needs for as long as we are needed. Two Spirit Health Services, a non-profit medical clinic that provides medical and mental health services to the LGBT community in Central Florida, has led the mental health effort and will continue to do so for the long term. We are establishing a permanent drop-in mental health clinic at The Center, where people can come by for counseling and support when they need it, with no appointment required. We are establishing a counseling voucher program, wherein if the existing mental health and medical staff at Two Spirit Health Services are unable to meet an immediate demand, we can provide those seeking help with a service voucher. Affected people can take this voucher to a qualified health professional on our referral list that is vetted for both LGBT cultural competence and trauma. The voucher will be turned in and reimbursed by funds donated to relieve the pain that has wrenched our community. The list will be available on our website.
Orlando Depot and Distribution Center Established
We are very proud to announce that a local business has worked with our team to setup a donation depot and distribution center. This will allow us to continue accepting donations at Hope and Help Center of Central Florida and the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, catalog our donations, store them, and distribute them to families in need. Please continue to drop off non-perishable donations to our two sites. We ask that in lieu of perishable donations that you send gift cards or donate directly to one of the online funding sources available. All local non-profit organizations will have information on how to request distribution of resources.
We will have a need for volunteers through the next few weeks to assist us with the collection, recording, and distribution of donations from this new donation center.
Hope and Help Center of Central Florida
The Hope and Help Center of Central Florida will begin Mental Health Counseling Services on Monday June 20th, 2016 for the community. We continue to be a drop off location for all donation items. Hope and Help is offering our full services to the community at this time including HIV testing, HIV case management, HIV support groups, and all other services we provide to the Orlando community.
Hope and Help wants to inform you that we also are hosting a full food pantry with groceries available for anyone in need along with sundry items such as toilet paper, shampoo, etc. Please come by if you are in need, or have families affected that can utilize supplies during this crisis.
Referral service for any additional services or needs you may have are available at our location. Hope and Help Center of Central Florida is located at 1935 Woodcrest Winter Park, Florida 32792. Phone: 407-645-2577.
Candlelight Vigil at Lake Eola
A Candlelight Vigil has been planned at Lake Eola for Sunday June 19th, 2016 at sunset. Please try to arrive early as a very large turnout is expected. Please use extra caution when attending, as the vigil will be a large gathering in an open public space.
- Well-wishes and Cards for Orlando Regional Medical Center and the Level One Trauma Center Team Members: to send well-wishes and cards to the trauma team here at Orlando Health, mail them to: Volunteer Services, 1414 Kuhl Avenue, MP #83, Orlando, FL 32806.
- OneBlood Donations: OneBlood still needs donations but they are asking that you make an appointment online at www.OneBlood.org. There is an urgent need for O Negative, O Positive and AB Plasma.
- Family Emergency Hotline: 407.246.4357
- City of Orlando Translation Volunteers: Send an email with subject line “Translation Volunteer” to: email@example.com. Include: name, telephone number and your email address within the body of email.
- Food, Beverage and Dry Good Donations: Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is collecting dry food and water donations. Call for pick up or deliver to 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando, FL 32805 Monday-Saturday 8-4 pm. http://www.feedhopenow.org.
- We ask that all inquiries related to volunteers, donations and other in-kind services be directed to CommunityRelations@orlandohealth.com.
- In addition, two options have been set up for individuals and organizations looking to support Orlando Regional Medical Center and the Level One Trauma Center. Please share the following with friends, family and neighbors who are asking how they can help:
- Text “Orlando” to 20222 to donate $10 to ORMC’s Level One Trauma Center (the donation will be added to your cell phone carrier bill).
- Donate online at give.orlandohealth.com/ORMC (monetary donations can be made using a credit card at this website).
- For additional questions or inquiries regarding monetary donations, please email OrlandoHealthGiving@OrlandoHealth.com or call (321) 841-5194.
I’ll update as I find additional details and information