A local relief group has launched a new way to allow locals to open their doors for Hurricane Dorian survivors who made their way to South Florida.
Sean Scott, co-owner of Subculture Coffee, is a member of Bahamas Relief Cruise.
It is a group of several members of the hospitality community who aim to provide relief to Bahamas on the Grand Celebration ship of the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
Scott spearheads housing opportunities for those who are in need.
“Out of the 1,436 that came back [last Saturday], 61 one of them didn’t have housing when they got here," he said. "We’re working with Palm Beach County to do background checks on those families and we’ll be placing them in the next 24 hours."
To become a host, the first thing you need to do is fill out an application.
“Those families can enter things like, how many people they can house, what kind of home it is, how long they can house them there if they can feed them,” Scott said. “These Bahamians are not undocumented. The ones here have either passports or visas, so they’re able to work and start a life here if they want."
Ben Pate of Jupiter met Clifton Cleare-Francis, a math teacher from Freeport, on a relief voyage from the Bahamas last Saturday.
Pate now refers Cleare-Francis as a member of the family.
He has been staying as a guest at Pate's home soon after he says storm surge destroyed dozens of classrooms at his school at Tabernacle Baptist Church and Academy.
There is also significant water damage inside the place of worship, he said.
“It feels amazing having him around, we were saying last night, you know, we’re brothers,” Pate said.
Pate and his longtime friend Brett Hull are members of Guerilla Aid, which provides front line relief to distressed communities by natural disasters.
“Things like that are things that we want to get done. Helping with the children, helping everybody it’s tough to even emotionally concept what’s going on,” said Brett Hull, a family friend and volunteer.
Their mission now is to rebuild the school and place of worship.
“Sometimes you sit down and you’re not going to remember it now but as a teacher when you’re in your classroom you know students are going to be thinking about it, worried, have traumas,” Cleare-Francis said.
Hull encourages people to also follow a Facebook group called Hurricane Community if you're interested in helping survivors. The group was created by Caitlin Serrano, according to Hull.
Meanwhile, Bahamas Relief Cruise has raised more than half-a-million in donations as of Tuesday night.
The money will pay for more trips to deliver supplies, large scale generators and bring over 350 skilled workers like licensed electricians to get power back.