Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
“Nearly all of Florida is reeling from Hurricane Irma. But in this rural, agricultural city bordering the Everglades, the storm has taken nearly everything from people who had very little to begin with. Many homes – mostly uninsurable trailers – are gone or heavily damaged. The fields where they work have been flooded or scoured by wind. They have families to support, mouths to feed, trailers to fix, looters to watch out for and no idea when they’ll have an income again.”
- Kate Irby & Lesley Clark, Miami Herald, September 13, 2017
For many in Immokalee, insecurity surrounding basic needs was a reality of daily life BEFORE Hurricane Irma. Hardworking agricultural and service industry families struggled to make
- 141 mph winds hit parts of Collier County when Irma made landfall September 10, 2017. The most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, Hurricane Irma caused widespread destruction in SWFL and devastated the community of Immokalee, FL.
- 6% of Immokalee’s population lives below the federal poverty level – among the highest in the state of Florida.
- 50 homes – primarily mobile homes – were estimated by Naples Daily News to be destroyed as of the September 17, 2017 news. The full scope of the damages is still unknown.
Many in our Guadalupe Center family have suffered significant destruction to their homes – some damage so severe that houses are uninhabitable. Our number one priority is to help these families remain safe while facing the aftermath of this storm.
- 1,300 children who rely on educational programs offered by Guadalupe Center are currently displaced and living in unsafe conditions or shelters.
- 150 full-time and part-time teachers and employees are struggling and are relying on their wages to find temporary housing, cover repair and replacement costs to their trailers and homes or replace damaged household items.
- Guadalupe Center will honor its payroll commitment to these teachers and staff who already live paycheck to paycheck, despite the fact that the
Center will not receive revenues from sliding scale parent fees or government subsidized funding while the center is closed.
- Guadalupe Center will offer subsistence funds to assist teachers, staff, students and families with repair and replacement bills to their damaged homes. Relief Funds will also allow Guadalupe Center to assist with temporary and long-term housing needs for teachers, staff, students and families whose homes are uninhabitable and who lost all their possessions.