Grieving families seek comfort at Family Resource Center following bridge collapse

Tamica Jean-Charles/Copy Chief

Grieving families clasp onto Red Cross blankets on the first floor of the Student Academic Success Center as they wait for updates on their loved ones who were affected by the tragic bridge collapse on Thursday, March 15.

The family reunification center, now renamed The Family Resource Center, is a collaborative effort of the University, the FIU Police Department, emergency personnel, spiritual groups and other state officials. The center was established to help those affected by the recent tragedy by offering guidance and assistance.

“We’re ready to serve as needed to help support our community,” said Tony Delgado, the ombudsman and assistant dean of students.

The Emergency Red Cross is offering various support services for the affected individuals, such as food, water and blankets.

Coordinators of the center have hired various spiritual and religious volunteers to help the loved ones. One of whom happen to be a group of Chaplains, or spiritual representatives who offer spiritual counseling in times of need.  The University’s own Counseling and Psychological Services, Victim Empowerment Services and Multi-Faith Council are also at the center to help.

The center has different private spaces for the religious and spiritual groups to work, said Delgado.

Police and detectives are also in the center to gather further information on the situation.

The FRC will be at SASC until all the families have been cared for. The FIUPD will remain on standby and escort loved ones to and from the center.

One Stop services have been temporarily relocated to the first floor of Primera Casa, where it was originally before SASC was built, according to Delgado.

If you are a family member or a loved one of those impacted by the bridge collapse, contact the FRC at 305-348-3481 or visit the center in SASC 100.

The center was created after recent events involving the pedestrian bridge. The newly-built, 925-ton bridge collapsed onto 8th street early Thursday afternoon. The bridge fell onto eight cars, taking the lives of six people, including one FIU student, and injuring 10, as of the time this article was published.

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