Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Orlando opens assistance center for Pulse victims, families at Camping World Stadium

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 10:57 AM

  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Local officials announced the opening of a family assistance center at the Camping World Stadium for those affected by the mass shooting at Orlando's gay nightclub Pulse. 

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs say the center opens Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. on West Church Street.  

“Our hearts goes out to you,” Dyer says at a press conference. “We are here to support you in any way we can.”

The city says help will be available to "family members of the deceased; those suffering physical and emotional injuries; club staff and patrons and others directly impacted by this tragedy," according to a press release. Services include: air travel, child and family services, consulate services, counseling and spiritual care, crime victim services, funeral help, transportation, health care assistance, identification documents, language translation services, legal aide, lodging, medical examiner services and senior help. 

The city has also opened the OneOrlando fund to help raise money for victims' families and will provide burial plots at Greenwood Cemetery to the 49 victims for free. 

The local community is also preparing for a possible appearance by the Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-gay group that pickets funerals. On Wednesday, the group tweeted, "We have a Bible message for #Orlando and we can't wait to share it!"

Jacobs says law enforcement are on alert, and that this is an opportunity for the community to reevaluate how we treat those who feel differently than we do. She adds she's seen a transformational change in how Central Florida's churches respond to the LGBTQ community. 

"What each citizen can do is they can search in their own heart and soul and think about whether or not they are treating everyone in this community with love and compassion and understanding," she says. "It is a call for our entire community to rally behind what we believe in— and that's love and compassion. Tolerance is not sufficient. We need to cherish our differences, and we need to cherish our people." 

Terry DeCarlo, of GLBT Community Center of Orlando, says the community has really turned out by providing the center with food and water. They don't need those supplies anymore, but are now looking for grocery gift cards to provide to victims' families for their immediate needs. 

"I'm getting messages from around the world saying, 'We love you, we're standing with you,'" DeCarlo says. "It's just be absolutely amazing, really, the outpouring of love."

The Family Assistance Center at Camping World Stadium will be open: 
- Wednesday, June 15, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Thursday, June 16, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Friday, June 17, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday, June 18, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Sunday, June 19, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If you need more information, visit the center's page here or call 407-246-4357.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation