New name, same mission! LIRS is becoming Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

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New American Families Affected by Hurricane Ian

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Global Refuge Staff

September 30, 2022

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 Global Refuge 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 Global Refuge 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 Global Refuge 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.

Thumbnail for a video entitled 'Hurricane Ian: How You Can Help'

To mitigate those difficulties, Global Refuge 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, Global Refuge 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 Global Refuge 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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