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Orlando United Assistance Center Surveys Patients Before Funding Runs out in September

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

The Orlando United Assistance Center wants to know what Pulse survivors, family members and first responders still need nearly three years after the nightclub mass shooting. The center is partnering with the University of Central Florida on an online survey of current and future needs. 

The Orlando United Assistance Center offers mental health and legal services and is there to help with emergency needs like rent and utility bills for people affected by the shooting. 

Erica Fissel of the University of Central Florida says survey participants will be asked to join follow-up in-person focus groups in March. 

“And then it’s an online survey that is translated in both English and Spanish and respondents can work through the different sections. The average time to complete it is less than ten minutes.”

Heart of Florida United Way’s Ray Larsen, who runs the Center, says these focus groups will help determine which resources should be offered in the future. 

He says that’s crucial as the Center only has enough funding to operate through the end of September, after an $8.5 million dollar federal grant ran out last year. 

“That gives us a chance to do this research, understand what it means and begin to think about how we deliver those services going into the future.”

State Representatives Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith have introduced a bill that would provide the center with an additional $595,031 dollars in funding. 

The Orlando United Assistance Center offers mental health and legal services and is there to help with emergency needs like rent for people affected by the 2016 mass shooting.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur is a general reporter for 90.7 News. She studied journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and interned at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from the metro Detroit area.