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San Pedro Fire Victims Receive Assistance

San Pedro Fire Victims Receive Assistance
August 09
17:36 2018

The huge losses caused by Saturday morning’s fire in San Pedro and the dire plight of those left homeless and without possessions have not gone unnoticed or unanswered; since then several organizations and private businesses have come to the aid of the victims and have offered basic assistance and shelter.

Fifteen of the 87 displaced persons are being housed at Hope Haven – a children’s shelter that has redirected its focus for this week to the needs of the fire victims, many of whom are also children.

Melinda Upchurch, a Board member of Hope Haven, told the Reporter on Wednesday that Hope Haven can only provide shelter to 15 of the victims up to Saturday, but that the organization has been feeding all 87 fire victims three meals each day. It does so through private monetary donations and from volunteers who provide the labour. The rest of the victims, Upchurch explained, are staying at hotels and condos that have opened up rooms to them and others are with relatives and friends.

Upchurch explained to the newspaper that it has been a distribution center for NEMO, the Red Cross and other NGOs that have contributed food stocks, clothing, and bedding material. Aside from Hope Haven, other locals have provided hot meals to the families.

As far as the government aspect goes, NEMO has distributed mattresses, bedding, basic food packages, hygiene kits, two-hole table top stoves and gas tanks to the affected families.

Minister in charge of NEMO, Edmond Castro told the Reporter earlier this week that because many of the victims rent rooms and apartments, they will likely find other locations to settle in as they rebuild their lives.

Area Representative for Belize Rural South, Manuel Heredia Jr., praised the community spirit of San Pedro residents to unify on occasions of challenges such as this.

He told reporters this week that a radio-thon is being planned to raise funds to give to the families. The minimum amount such events has rendered is $50,000. He said that the business community has also responded positively toward the idea of the fundraiser.

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