Pulse nightclub survivor advocates for Uvalde community, mental health resources

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

As the sixth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting falls next week, the same pattern of violence has crossed state lines into a classroom close to home.

In 2016, a gunman shot through an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 and injuring 53. Survivor and now activist Brandon Wolf said the tragedy in Uvalde is all too familiar, even down to the reaction of lawmakers.

“10-year-old kids who went to school like any other day and came out of that classroom with a body bag. It infuriates me that someone can look at those faces, look at those families and say, there’s nothing that can be done for my brother,” Wolf said.

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

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

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

“I would now encourage people to lean on each other’s shoulders, call when you need someone, text when you need someone, visit each other, spend time in person, prepare meals together. Your community is what will get you through this,” Wolf said.

A hub to help people in Uvalde with everything from counseling to handling insurance claims will open a temporary location Monday, until a permanent location is established.

Nearly $5 million was invested in a long-term family strengthening center in Uvalde.

Anyone seeking support can call 888-690-0799 to get in touch with services.

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