Updated: Thurs., Jan. 28 — An emergency resource center set up to assist the families of earthquake victims and survivors will continue to offer assistance for two more weeks, according to officials who run the operation. It is now located at the Mattapan branch library on Blue Hill Avenue. The center, coordinated by staff from the union and the Boston Public Health Commission, has been helping Haitian Americans connect to relatives and other services. The new number for the center is 617-593-0363.
Beginning next week, the City of Boston's Referral and Support Center will continue to operate out of the Mattapan Public Library at the following times:
Tuesdays: 2:00-7:00 pm
Thursdays: 2:00-6:00 pm
Saturdays 12:00-5:00 pm
Attorneys and mental health counselors will continue to be available during these hours.
Call (617) 593-0363 for more information.
Boston College High School passes along correspondence they have received today (Thursday, Jan. 14) via e-mail from Fr. Perard Monestime, S.J. who was able to update the school community today with his version of the news from his vantage point at a Jesuit school in northern Haiti. The BC High students read this account aloud today at school and raised funds during a morning collection that will go to Haiti.
Fr. Monestine writes:
Emily Rooney discusses the aftermath of the earthquake on her radio program on WGBH 89.7 on Wednesday. Go to WGBH to see a preview of a special documentary "Egalité for All", about The Haitian Revolution (1791–1803) and Toussaint Louverture (1743–1803), which will air on PBS stations locally on Friday, Jan. 15.
Rev. Richard ButlerThe Reporter has made contact with Fr. Richard J. Butler, a Boston Archdiocesan priest who arrived in Haiti on Tuesday, just hours before the quake. Butler, a senior priest at St. Mary of the Assumption in Brookline, was traveling to a Boston-affiliated hospital— St. Boniface— in the southern town of Fond des Blanc when the earthquake hit.
In an e-mail today he reports the following:
"We arrived Tuesday at 1:30 at Port au Prince and were almost at Fond des Blancs when the earthquake occurred. Thank God as we arrived at the St. Boniface Hospital the damage was minor. We quickly heard how severe was the damage elsewhere.
"We have had continuing tremors and are staying alert but we are safe."
Senator John Kerry's office has just issued a statement on efforts to restore communications in Haiti. Kerry is Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. He characterized yesterday as the today commented on efforts by "the biggest day in history for mobile phone generated charity."
Kerry's statement also brought new information about Spirit Airlines, which he says is "resuming flights in and out of Haiti on Thursday, January 14."
Western Union, the money transfer company, has begun offering "no fee" money transfers to Haiti today, the company tells the Haitian Reporter. The company says the offer is good on "any amount sent to Haiti from the United States, Canada and France... for a period of seven days, once service is reestablished throughout the country, when sending money to Haiti from the U.S., Canada and in France, in cooperation with our Agents."
Local unions are organizing efforts to raise funds for Haiti after a massive earthquake devastated the poor island nation.
SEIU Local 1199, which has 4,000 Haitians among its membership, will be fundraising and planning to send a delegation to Haiti to offer volunteer services from nurses and other health workers, according to Herbert Jean-Baptiste, chair of the Haitian Caucus within the union.
He is also working to get SEIU Locals 615 and 509 involved as well, he said.