Families from areas hard-hit by Hurricane Michael met with state lawmakers on Thursday, March 21, 2019 to show them directly the challenges faced by those in the region months after the storm. (Courtesy of Linda Perez-Davila)
TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa Bay-area nonprofit is challenging state leaders to step up and help Florida Panhandle families who they say are still suffering months after Hurricane Michael devastated the region.
27 families went to Tallahassee Thursday to speak to lawmakers Boricuas de Corazon Inc. helping 75 families Group fundraising through GoFundMe campaign – click HERE to learn more
On Thursday, 27 families from those hard-hit areas showed up to the State Capitol to show just how dire the need is. They showed leaders recent pictures of mattresses on the ground and buildings torn apart.
Linda Perez-Davila’s organization, Boricuas De Corazon Inc., is currently aiding the families, and helped them get to Tallahassee from Panama City Thursday. She said these families are in dire need and in some cases are living in tents or multiple families living in small spaces.
"It’s still not clean, not safe," Perez-Davila explained. "Their schools are operating, but not at a normal level. The water is not too good. Electricity is functional, but not at the level it should be, at least the areas for these families itself."
"To be honest with you, most of them are living two and three families in a place right now," she added.
Davila said her organization is helping 75 families. That’s 336 people, including children.
Out of those 75 families, Davila says some of them had just relocated to Panama City from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
"We found out later on, doing an interview one by one, 15 of these families are coming [after] Hurricane Maria and being hit again by Hurricane Michael," she said.
That’s why when senators agreed to meet Perez-Davila and some of those families in Panama City this Saturday they were overjoyed and hopeful they’d finally get the help they desperately need.
In the meantime, Perez-Davila is trying to raise money through a GoFundMe campaign to help each family pay all the fees needed to move into their own apartments.
To learn more about the effort or to contribute, visit https://www.gofundme.com/displaced-families-in-panama-city-fl.
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