The Virus Ravaged Parents at P.S. 315. They Found a Way to Fight Back. | #students | #parents

By the first Friday of April, she was dead. She had not even been tested for the virus.

The day after he buried his sister, Mr. Registre, a security guard and a pastor at a Haitian church nearby, heard that one of his closest friends from the church had died.

He, too, had diabetes, in addition to heart disease. Among his community of Haitian immigrants, there were many people with similar stories: already in poor health, reluctant to seek medical help in time, anxious about money. A few days later came news of another pastor who had died.

In May, Mr. Registre got a bill for $863 from the ambulance service that took him to the hospital. “That’s one of the reasons people don’t want to call emergency,” he said.

Throughout April and May, from one parent to another, word spread about loss upon loss.

Judel Barosy, an Uber driver and the father of a fourth grader, had died. His wife, Judith Telemaque, called to say she had been laid off from her housekeeping job at a hotel and that her children, age 10 and 13, were refusing to talk about their grief. As if that were not enough, her sister-in-law, who had been battling cancer, died at home.

Parents on the committee are soliciting donations for local families through a GoFundMe page. They have circulated a list of food pantries and referred families to a group that helps pay electricity bills. Some have offered tips on how to keep children engaged at home or have offered to speak with landlords about rent arrears.

Two months into the lockdown, the need has multiplied. Carrie Gleason, the mother of a kindergartner and a co-founder of the interpreter committee, learned recently that a neighbor’s mother had died at home, as well as the brother of a friend. Every week, there are more families needing help with food and bills.

“This week it really started to hit me, just emotionally,” Ms. Gleason said. “The level of devastation this small group of people has dealt with, it’s crazy.”


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