Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Advocacy Groups for Haitian immigrants in the Florida Keys ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Advocacy Groups for Haitian immigrants in the Florida Keys
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: jay2001-ga
List Price: $40.00
Posted: 21 Feb 2004 18:30 PST
Expires: 22 Mar 2004 18:30 PST
Question ID: 309360
I would like to know the name/address/telephone number of any groups
or individuals or organizations who are working to provide information
on available services and civil rights to Haitians, who may be legal,
illegal or recently arrived refugees.  I am particularly interested in
the area south of Marathon, and most particularly in Key West.  I will
ask at .the Catholic church in Key West, but I doubt that anyone there
speaks Creole.

I have already asked at the Library and the Dept of Florida History
and looked in the local newspaper archives, all to no avail.
Subject: Re: Advocacy Groups for Haitian immigrants in the Florida Keys
Answered By: majortom-ga on 21 Feb 2004 21:40 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hello Jay2001,

Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc has an office in Key West.  They
offer a variety of services explained here:

BUT in order to use their services, clients must have legal immigration status.

The Florida Immigrant Advocacy Project offers direct representation
and impact advocacy.  They do not have an office in the Keys but they
do serve residents of Monroe County.  They have done some high profile
advocacy work for the Haitian immigrant poplulation.  Here is their
Main Office:
Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Inc
3000 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 400   Miami, FL 33137 
Fax: (305) 576-6273 Phone: (305) 573-1106

You might also check with the Monroe County Bar Association:

Victoria McFadyen
P.O. Box 4020
Key West, Florida 33041
Phone: (305)295-3060
Fax: (305)295-3070

Or the Upper Keys Bar Association:

John A. Jabro
90311 Overseas Hwy., Ste. B
Tavernier, Florida 33070
Phone: (305)852-9233
Fax: (305)852-0686

And a list of Florida Keys social services organizations is available from keysweb:

I hope this information will meet your needs.

Please let me know if you need anything else,


Google Search Methodology

Request for Answer Clarification by jay2001-ga on 22 Feb 2004 09:08 PST
Thank you for trying. Most Haitians in the Keys are illegals.  The
FIAC project sounds more like what I am interested in, if they also
deal with unregistered Haitians.  I will call them Monday to ask, but
since the most recent stuff on their web site is dated 2002, I am not
very hopeful.

Is their any way to find any other resources more related to
a)Haitians and b)the Fl. Keys than State Social Services or Legal
Services?  Easter Seals and the Bar Association are not likely to have
strong outreach programs for Haitians in Key West.

If nothing turns up, I will understand, but I had hoped for a bit more.

Thanks again

Clarification of Answer by majortom-ga on 22 Feb 2004 09:56 PST
Hello Again,

If you look at the "What's New" section of the Florida Immigrant
Advocacy Center website, you will notice a report entitled "Summary of
Attorney General Decision to Detain Haitian Asylum Seekers" dated May
Here is the link:

At any rate, my personal experience with advocacy groups has been that
one cannot take the date of anything on their websites as an
indication of how active they are.  Website updates tend to be low on
the priority list.  In my opinion they are definitely worth a phone

I should have clarified why I listed the Bar Associations.  Generally,
local Bar Associations are knowledgeable about local pro bono

Of those social services listed on Keyweb, I recommend contacting
Catholic Charities, as they do this type of work in other locales. 
Here is their contact information:
Catholic Charities, 2700 Flagler St, Key West.....(305) 292-9790

Recent immigration reform legislation dictates that publicly funded
legal aid may no longer assist individuals with illegal immigration
status.  However, Legal Services of Greater Miami may be able to
provide you with more information about local services that do.  Here
is their contact information:
(305) 292-3566
TDD (305) 292-9722

There is not a great deal of information about community organizations
in Key West available online.  If you like, I can make some phone
calls tomorrow morning (this being a Sunday) and let you know my

I hope this better answers your question,


Clarification of Answer by majortom-ga on 22 Feb 2004 10:54 PST
I have located one more service provider for you:

Amada Orendain, Executive Director
1205 Sunset Drive
Miami, FL 33143
Telephone: 305-665-0022 or 800-765-8875

According to the LSGMI website, they represent Haitians before the
immigration court.

Request for Answer Clarification by jay2001-ga on 22 Feb 2004 22:01 PST
Thanks again for your help.  If you get any more leads on Monday,
please let me know, and then I'll close this out.


Clarification of Answer by majortom-ga on 23 Feb 2004 07:46 PST
Jay 2001,

I made several phone calls this morning.

I spoke with Sarah at Legal Services of Greater Miami.  She was not
aware of any local organizations (just those already mentioned in
Miami) and was kind enough to check with others in her office.  No one
was aware of any organization that does outreach to the Haitian
community regardless of immigration status.

I then contacted Catholic Charities - their primary service in Key
West is a men's shelter.  From them and from Wesley House (another
shelter I contacted) I was told that the primary population of
homeless individuals in the keys is white men.  The Haitian community
is very isolated, although they do offer their services to anyone. 
Catholic Charities in Miami, however, does offer services specific to
the Haitian Community.

Sarah at Legal Services also gave me the number for _Bahama Village
Voices_ a local paper for the Haitian community.  I called the number
listed for advertising:
and spoke with Veronica Stafford - who as it turns out is the
publisher of the paper.  She told me that there are no local outreach
to the Haitian community.  The Haitian community in the keys is very
isolated, she said, and has been taken advantage of.  She was
uncomfortable with speaking with me about this any further until she
knew specifically who you were and why you were asking the question. 
I did get the impression she had more to say.  I recommend you contact
her directly and let her know who you are and what your interest is in
this subject.

I hope this answers your question,

jay2001-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
Good job. Thanks for all the research and the prompt replies.

Subject: Re: Advocacy Groups for Haitian immigrants in the Florida Keys
From: umiat-ga on 21 Feb 2004 23:36 PST
You might also be interested in the following group: 

Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition

"The Coalition has engaged the Miami-Dade County government and the
State of Florida to get Haitian-americans to be equal partner in the
political process as far as self-representation on the issue of

Contact in Florida:
Jean-Robert Lafortune 
P.O Box 381416
Miami, Florida 33238 

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy