Several families say they're fearful they may have to return to the streets because the Miami homeless shelter they're staying at is infested with bed bugs.
The Chapman Partnership admits there is a bed bug problem at the shelter in Downtown Miami, where some of the bugs were spotted during a press conference Wednesday attended by current residents and clients.
"I am in fear mainly for my newborn, I have to have him sleep in a swing because I don't want him to sleep in the bed with me, because the simple fact that I'm scared that he's gonna get bit and he could end up in hospital," one mother said. "He can't sleep in the bed with me, he's can't sleep in the crib he has to sleep in the swing, I have to constantly be checking his body to make sure that he has no bites."
"My daughter wakes up screaming in the middle of the night because she's getting bit, I catch them on her, I catch them in her hair," another mother said.
The women say the problem has been going on for months and their complaints are falling on deaf ears.
The Chapman Partnership opened in 1995 and says it has helped more than 100,000 residents and more than 20,000 children. It also claims a 64 percent success rate with transitioning families. In a statement to NBC 6 the organization said they don't discuss former or current resident cases.
"Bed Bugs are not an uncommon problem at emergency shelters. We have a comprehensive plan to treat all clothing and belongings during intake as well as regular fumigation," the statement read.
"I'm very upset, very disappointed, I just haven't had anybody to run to, so when I do go to them they don't do anything," another mother said.
Chapman also says it has an ongoing capital campaign for building and maintenance improvements, which includes HVAC, bathroom and dorm renovations, roof replacements as well as new furniture and bed-bug proof bedding.