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Orlando United Assistance Center, Formed For Pulse Victims, Gets 3 Months Of Funding

The temporary memorial at the site of the Pulse nightclub. Photo : Matthew Peddie, WMFE

The center formed to help victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting get access to services will receive funding through the end of the year.

The Orlando United Assistance Center was given more than $85,000 by the Orlando City Council Monday. The funding will keep the center open through the end of 2019. The $1.9 million used to fund the center was set to run out at the end of the month.

Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan said it’s critical to have Spanish-speaking counselors available who are culturally sensitive and LGBTQ affirming.

“This is very important work that continues,” Sheehan said. “People don’t realize when a mass shooting happens in a community, it doesn’t go away overnight. Other people might move on with their lives, but these victims don’t.”

Christopher Cuevas is executive director of QLatinx. He said it’s important to have resources available for Pulse survivors more than three years after the shooting left 49 dead.

“There are individuals who are just now coming sort of out of the shadows and are asking for help, and it’s critical that this sort of service be made available to them,” Cuevas said.

The future of the center past 2019 is unclear, with Heart of Florida United Way officials seeking money from local governments.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Abe Aboraya

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