x
Breaking News
More () »

'I spent five days underneath the bridge' | Houston shelter temporarily houses Haitian migrants

Busloads of mostly Haitian migrants are arriving at a warehouse near Bush Intercontinental.

HOUSTON — The arduous journey for migrants from Haiti or other countries temporarily ends inside a warehouse near Bush Intercontinental Airport.

"What we do is we receive them here," Elizabeth Rodriguez, office manager for National Association of Christian Churches, said. "We let them stay until they find a way home to their sponsors, to their families.”

RELATED: How to help Haitian migrants housed at transitional shelter in north Houston

The NACC's disaster relief and others are providing services to hundreds arriving by bus from the border.

Those include meals, showers, clothes and communication.

RELATED: Haitian migrants from border camp moved to Houston, other cities, US officials confirm

"We help them buy an airplane ticket, a bus ticket, whatever it is they need to do in order to get to their relatives.”

Rossely Helaire is trying to get to Miami.

"I spent five days underneath the bridge,” Helaire said.

He says he initially migrated from Haiti to Chile until circumstances there led him to Del Rio and that makeshift shelter under the bridge.

"I came to the US for better opportunity for me and my family,” Helaire said.

He learned to speak Spanish while in South America, but most at the shelter speak French of Haitian Creole.

"He was telling me, you know, he had to go through a lot just to get here,” said one translator during a conversation with a refugee.

Houston Haitians United put out a call on social media for translators, cooks, barbers, nurses and others.

That's what prompted registered nurse Amelia Harrison to volunteer.

"It doesn’t have to be anything, like, political," said Harrison. "These are human beings."  "I think it’s inhumane to see someone who needs help and not render assistance.”

There’s no word on exactly how many buses might end up in Houston.

Although we overheard one official say the more that leave the border the fewer people get deported.

We're told COVID protocols and testing are available at the shelter.

Those who test positive may be housed in a separate area.

Jason Miles on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram