Haiti just does not seem to be able to get a break.
As you no doubt have heard by now, on Saturday it suffered a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that has killed at least 1,300 people and left more than 5,700 injured, just ten years after the massive 2010 earthquake that killed 300,000residents and left 1.5 million injured. Tonight, Tropical Storm Grace is expected to hit the island, bringing heavy rain, flooding, and landslides to one of the poorest countries in the world. Add to that - Haiti's president was assassinated last month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brooklyn, Flatbush in particular, is home to a large Haitian diaspora - about 90,000 strong - represented by Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, Council members Farah Louis and Mathieu Eugene, and incoming councilmembers Rita Joseph, and Chi Osse.
This afternoon they, as well as other elected officials and members of the Haitian community gathered in front of St. Jerome’s Roman Catholic Church at 2900 Nostrand Ave in Little Haiti to remember those lost and calling for help.
“Once again Haiti is experiencing a tragedy, we must all synchronize our efforts and bring humanitarian relief to Haiti,” said Jackson Rockingster of Little Haiti BK calling on everyone from neighbors to politicians. “Do what you can to assist Haiti, no donation is too small.”
They also sent a letter to President Biden asking to lift the refugee admission ceiling, temporarily halt the deportation of Haitian migrants from the U.S., and supply the people of Haiti with humanitarian aid in the form of food assistance and additional COVID-19 vaccine doses.
If you're looking for ways to support the people of Haiti please donate cash to the following relief organizations: @AyitiTrust@CapraCare@HopeforHaitiFL@PIH Click here to donate. You can also drop off non-perishables requested above at 1312 Flatbush Avenue or any NYC police precinct.
“We here in New York City stand ready to do whatever we can to help Haiti,” said Rita Joseph, City Council District 40 Democratic Nominee. “The people of Haiti are strong and resilient, but we must help them get back on their feet following this latest harrowing event. One thing President Biden can do today to help our friends in Haiti is to raise the refugee admission ceiling from where it currently stands to help accommodate the influx of Haitian applicants.”
"As the proud daughter of Haitian immigrants, I join my community in mourning loved ones lost while the nation struggles to recover from the tragic events that have unfolded in Haiti in recent years including the 2010 earthquake, hurricanes, a deadly cholera outbreak, and near-constant political and economic instability,” said Council Member Farah N. Louis of the 45th District. “Going forward, it is critical that we stand in solidarity with Haiti while offering our support, much-needed resources, continued prayers, and renewed hope."
“Today, National Action Network is standing in solidarity with the Haitian community to call for humanitarian efforts from the federal government. Saturday's earthquake in Haiti left a disastrous impact that needs substantial support, not just thoughts and prayers. We also urge the international community to offer support during these challenging times. It is a position of privilege to believe that it doesn't impact us all when neighboring communities suffer,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of National Action Network.
“We remain committed to championing adequate aid to the region, supporting bilateral relations and policies that will ensure Haiti’s full economic and political recovery, and the emergence of a durable, Haitian-led democracy,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, founding Co-chair of the Congressional Caribbean and Haiti Caucuses, along with Congressional Haiti Caucus Co-chairs Congressmembers Andy Levin (MI-09), Val Demings (FL-10), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Stacey Plaskett (VI-at-large), and Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will be providing aid to Haiti and mental health support for our Haitian neighbors.
"People are traumatized by all these crises and not even knowing what's happened to loved ones. So, we'll have mobile mental health support out in Haitian American communities this week 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Haitian-American Council Training Center in Brooklyn at the Evangelical Crusade Christian Church in Brooklyn, too," de Blasio announced this morning. "You can go there in person or anyone who's dealing with a mental health challenge or trauma because of this situation you can always go by phone and call 888-NYC-Well 24/7, multiple languages, including Haitian-Creole."