The center of Hurricane Sandy may be far out in the Atlantic Ocean, but the Miami Rescue Mission is preparing to make sure no one is left out in the rain in South Florida.
”Hurricane Sandy will bring danger to some of our homeless that are out in the streets and we just want to be able to be open,” said the Miami Rescue Mission’s director, Antonio Villasuso.
The rescue mission is preparing like any other emergency weather system. The organization already houses up to 300 people that live in its buildings, and is ready to take on up to 50 more.
“We’re cooking more meals, we’re getting more blankets, we’re getting more clothes together so that we can reach out to the people of Miami,” Villasuso said.
The Miami Rescue Mission, along with outreach centers in Hollywood and Pompano Beach, offers not just shelter for the homeless, but an opportunity to better their lives.
“It was definitely life-changing for me. Like I said, at first it’s difficult because you are used to being outside in the open area, and when you come here they structure you to become successful,” resident Johanz Tovar said.
Once people are in the shelter, the Rescue Mission tries to help them make a decision to join one of its programs – and stay off the streets.
“So we just don’t want to bring them in as a human body and just sit them and move them through the motions,” Villasuso said. “We want to try to engage them to come in and to be able to make a decision to try to change for the better.”