Guatemala Maya Center helping families in need - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Guatemala Maya Center helping families in need

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Cleanup from Hurricane Irma is hard enough for everyone.

But what about communities that were already vulnerable before the storm?

An organization in Lake Worth is stepping up to help families in need recover.

The Holiday Mobile Home Park is filled with many struggling and immigrant families from Central America and the Caribbean.

The power came back on Wednesday afternoon, but you can still see a lot of debris piled up outside.

Luckily, the Guatemala Maya Center is gathering donations and helping families.

“We’re working with families to report this damage to FEMA," said center director Tim Gamwell. "And we’ve been in contact with our city commissioners and county commissioners to see what they can do to help.”

The center is helping families like Eloida and her grandchildren, who are now sleeping on the floor after the winds punched holes in her roof.

“It affected us. The roof broke and damaged our beds. Because of the hurricane we also lost power and we had to suffer through the storm," she said.

Gamwell walked us through the damage. The mobile homes didn't stand a chance with hurricane force winds.

“If there’s another rainstorm, even if it’s not a hurricane, they’re going to get significant damage," he said.

One woman showed us the ceiling inside her home. She's worried her roof is going to cave in and added that she can’t live in these conditions with her children.

“Being not evicted but kicked out because your house is condemned is almost a death sentence," said Gamwell.

Gamwell says while these immigrant families normally fear dealing with officials. He's hopeful FEMA and the county can step in to help.

“A lot of the families we work with with actually are undocumented. There are a lot of residents, a lot of families are scared to put their information out there," he said. “so we try to help them go through the process and get them the help they need."

The center is asking for any donations of food, water, diapers, clean bedding, mattresses and even home depot gift cards -- some of these families want to rebuild their homes themselves. 

You can drop donations off at the following address:

Guatemala Maya Center
430 North G Street
Lake Worth, FL

 

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