New Orlando United Assistance Center for Pulse Nightclub victims opens

Center located on Michigan Street

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor, Cathleigh Winningham - Producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - People impacted by the Orlando nightclub terror attack can continue to get help, but at a new location.

The city and Orange County teamed up Thursday to open a new Orlando United Assistance Center. It is located on Michigan Street near South Osceola Avenue, just blocks from Pulse Nightclub.

Community leaders say their message is loud and clear.

"We are here and we will continue to be here to help you," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

The center will offer everything from counseling to financial assistance and will replace the Family Assistance Center that had been located at Camping World Stadium.

"We know there's a lot of healing still to be done. Proud as we can be, how strong our community is, and how united our community has been, but we don't want to forget for one minute or ignore those who are still struggling," Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said.

The facility transformed in 24 hours and will be a one-stop shop for anyone affected by the Pulse Nightclub shooting can go. The goal is to provide them the long term recovery services they need.

"The center will help in the efforts to transition from the crisis that has been, to a place where this community can find that new normal," Tara Hughes with the American Red Cross said.

Dyer also announced Thursday the One Orlando fund is now at $9 million. They are hoping to start distributing funds to victims and their families in the coming weeks.

"We'll do it as transparently as we possibly can so that everybody will know what the criteria is and how we arrived at that criteria," Dyer said.

He adds the new center will stay open for as long as it takes until everyone is helped.

"We will stay open for as long as there is a need and I anticipate that will not be measured in days or months, it will be measured in years," Dyer said.

The Orlando United Assistance Center will be open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Starting Monday, its regular hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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