Bahamian family displaced by Dorian finding help in Palm Harbor

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s been over a month since Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas, causing widespread devastation and destruction. 

Many families are still displaced while some are left with absolutely nothing, like Vashti Joseph and her children. 

“After the hurricane, there were bodies everywhere,” said Joseph.  

Joseph and her children are now starting over in Palm Harbor. A local family invited them to stay while they work to get back on their feet. 

“We didn’t come here because we wanted to. We had to come here because we were devastated and we lost everything. We want to make the children comfortable, get them in school. Get them some normalcy. My 9-year-old was frightened to death,” said Joseph. 

Joseph tells 8 On Your Side what she and their family witnessed during the hurricane keeps them up at night. 

“During the eye, we went out to see what was happening and my neighbor was laying down dead. He was there to about Friday. Then the authorities came and just put something over his body. The load was tremendous, the help was limited. So he stayed out there for four or five days before he was even moved,” Joseph recalled.

The Palm Harbor family who opened their home to the Josephs did not want to be identified but they, along with their neighbors, are working to get the displaced family the finances and resources they need to start over. 

A fundraiser for the Josephs will be held at Giovanni’s Fresh Italian Kitchen in Palm Harbor, on Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward purchasing the family a car.  

The Josephs are still looking for donations, including clothing and toiletries. 

Joseph was a farmer in the Bahamas and lost her building, crops and livestock. She tells 8 On Your Side she is looking to secure a job in agriculture while in Florida.  

“The doors were open to us to come here for a period of time so we want to occupy that time as best as possible,” said Joseph. 

If you would like more information about the Joseph family or would like to donate, please call 954-213-4711. You can also email Vashti directly at vashtibridges@gmail.com.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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