October 14, 2016

Philadelphia, PA, October 12, 2016 – A city-wide coalition meeting is scheduled to take place among Haitian church and community leaders in Philadelphia in order to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti as a result of Hurricane Matthew. The goal of the meeting is to solidify partnerships in an effort to mobilize much needed and manifold assistance to the hurricane survivors.

While the meeting will be conducted in Haitian Creole, briefings/highlights will be provided in English, as well as opportunities for the press to interview community members whose families in Haiti have suffered loss of home or life. The meeting will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 4pm at Ebenezer Haitian Baptist Church located at 258-60 East Roosevelt Blvd., (corner of B Street) Philadelphia, PA 19120.

The hosts are preparing for approximately 100 community leaders and grassroots representatives who will share their concerns and offer their needs assessment of the communities on the ground. The four organizations hosting the event include the Haitian Clergy of Philadelphia, the Haitian Coalition of Philadelphia, the Elise Joseph Foundation and the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia. When the Category 4 hurricane swept from Southwestern Haiti through the entire coast and up to the Northern coast, it left many families without so much as a single shingle on their houses, and their livelihood shattered in pieces.

As a result of the devastating effects, the Haitian citizens concerned felt the indispensable responsibility to share their own thoughts and invite the Philadelphia Haitian community to play a vital role in the response to the most urgent needs… clean water, food and medication despite the challenges in transportation. The Haitian community has faced disastrous aftermaths before, and yet this is another opportunity for community service and resilience.

Ms. Gilda Joseph, President of the Elise Joseph Foundation says “We must do everything we can, and do it fast, and thoughtfully… people in many areas have been left with nothing.” In a time when it is a commonplace occurrence, regrettably, for materials and monies collected to be routed elsewhere, every caution and expediency is being put forth to ensure that aid assembled in this present instance be delivered to the most affected people in Haiti. Organizers are an ad hoc group which came together to address the hurricane relief efforts.

To learn more about individual organizations, visit their respective websites. For the most current information regarding the relief efforts, go to www.elisejosephfoundation.org