San Diego, CA – Immigrant groups and faith organizations on both sides of the border have come together to aid Haitians displaced by the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island nation and who recently arrived in the region seeking legal entry to the United States on humanitarian grounds.
Haitian earthquake survivors who are granted humanitarian parole will be sheltered for the next several weeks at two National Guard Armories in San Diego. The Haitian Methodist Church and Christ Ministries Center will continue to provide support to Haitians traveling through our region at the temporary shelters.
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a natural disaster of catastrophic proportions. The American people responded to this disaster with compassion and aid, sending resources and volunteers to help the Haitian people. Recognizing that the road to recovery was going to be long and difficult, the U.S. Government extended assistance to Haitians here in the United States through the Cuban Haitian Entrant Program (CHEP).
Rev. Dr. William Jenkins, member of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and Pastor at Christ Ministry Center said the following:
“The aid is an extension of the commitment we all made as a country to not forsake the Haitian people in their time of need. This is a binational humanitarian issue that we are addressing as a border community.
Many of us have stepped up to support these survivors by opening our doors and our hearts and living by the biblical verse ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in’. We will continue to aid these survivors as we are a community of compassion and we believe in the humane treatment of all people.”
How to help
San Diegans have been stepping up to assist Haitian nationals make their way to reunify with their loved ones in various localities in the U.S. Only about 10 percent of the Haiti earthquake survivors are resettling in San Diego.
There are three ways San Diegans can help support the Haitian earthquake survivors of 2010:
- The Haitian Methodist Ministry of San Diego is accepting cash donations online. The money would go directly to help Haitian earthquake survivors, primarily women and children, who are offered shelter at the church
- There is a strong demand for volunteer interpreters who speak Creole, French and Portuguese. For information on how to volunteer, visit www.Haitisd.com
- A 15,000 square feet location that can house all of the Haitian earthquake survivors in one place
Today’s press conference information:
WHEN: Wednesday, September 21st at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Christ Ministry Center, 3295 Meade Ave, San Diego, CA 92116 (Press conference will be live streamed via SDIRC’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/immigrantsandiego)
Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego
Assembly Speaker Emeritus Tony Atkins, D/San Diego
Rev. Bill Jenkins, Director of the Christ Ministry Center, which has provided shelter to hundreds of Haitian earthquake survivors in San Diego
Father Murphy, Casa del Migrante (Tijuana)
Elise Claudette, volunteer who is working with Haitian earthquake survivor
Representatives from La Maestra Community Health Centers, which has provided health screenings and checkups to Haitian migrants
Bob Moser, Deputy Director of Catholic Charities