Pulse nightclub survivor defends Uvalde community and mental health resources

The survivor of a nightclub mass shooting offered advice to the Uvalde community at a Vote Latino event on Saturday morning.

As the sixth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting arrives next week, the same pattern of violence has crossed state lines to a classroom near you.

In 2016, a gunman fired into an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring 53. Survivor and now activist Brandon Wolf said the Uvalde tragedy was all too familiar, even until responses from legislators.

“10-year-olds who went to school like any other day and walked out of that class with a body bag. It’s infuriating to me that anyone can look at these faces, can look at these families and say, there’s nothing that can be done for my brother,” Wolf said.

Instead, the City of Orlando has put words into action by creating the Orlando United Assistance Center, which is a hub for victims, their families and first responders to access mental health resources.

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“They had their whole world turned upside down. And the least we can do is give them the resources to find some healing in that, to find some comfort in that, to give them people to talk to, to give them what they need to ‘they can believe that tomorrow is worth seeing,’ Wolf said.

The best way to get through each day, Wolf said, is to be together as a community.

“I would encourage people right now to lean on each other, call if you need someone, text if you need someone, visit each other, drop by time in person, cooking meals together. Your community is what will get you through this,” Wolf said.

A center to help Uvalde residents with everything from counseling to handling insurance claims will open a temporary location on Monday until a permanent location is established.

Nearly $5 million has been invested in a long-term family resilience center in Uvalde.

Anyone seeking assistance can call 888-690-0799 to be connected to services.

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