Southern Command’s Joint Task Force Haiti (JTF-H) completed its mission of assisting US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Haiti in providing humanitarian support to the victims of the August 14 earthquake on September 2.
JTF-H, commanded by Rear Admiral Keith Davids of Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH), conducted 671 missions, delivered 587,950 pounds of aid by air and sea, and rescued or assisted 477 individuals. With the clearance and repair of roads delivery of aid supplies was shifted to ground transportation supplied by the Haitian Government and Non- Governmental Organizations. A team from USAID remains to coordinate additional United States aid.
The approximately 2000 members of JTF-H redeployed to their home stations with the last members of SOCSOUTH returning to Homestead Air Reserve Base on the evening of September 4.
Here in South Miami Dade another Task Force is continuing its work. The South Dade Haitian Relief Task Force was formed by Cong. Carlos Gimenez, Rep. Kevin Chambliss and the Homestead Haitian Ministerial Alliance.
The stated main priorities of the Task Force are family reunification, providing food, water, shelter, medicine, and funds to those affected by the earthquake, and family resettlement.
Diego Lazcano of Rep. Chambliss’s office pointed to the fact that most of the Haitian community in Homestead and Florida City have roots in and/or family in the southern regions of Haiti that were most effected by the earthquake.
The South Dade Haitian Relief Task Force meets twice a week by Zoom and Facebook. On Sept. 7 the Task Force held a workshop to provide constituentservices in the areas of family reunification and Temporary Protected Status. Staff from both offices were on hand to provide information and assistance.
Rep. Chambliss stated, “This is the reason we formed a task force. We wanted to be able to bring our services directly to the Haitian Community and we were able to accomplish that today. Several constituents were given assistance in bringing their loved ones from Haiti here to the United States.”
Christina Elias, District Director for Cong. Giménez said, “We discussed in detail what services our office can provide for them such as TPS and immigration related services,. This helps provide real time assistance to the constituents who were present with a concern or issue.”
For information and constituent services in Gimenez’s office is Christina Elias at 305-222-0160, and in Chambliss’s office, Diego Lazcano at 305- 720-1339.