Thank you for the outpouring of inquiries from past guests checking up on our wellbeing after Hurricane Irma. In short, Key West lost some roofs, plenty of trees, and tons of boats – many of which people lived in. The Middle and Lower Keys (Big Pine, Marathon, Cudjoe, Little Torch, Summerland and many others) lost much more.
We’ve also received a lot of inquiries asking how people could help. Here’s a few ideas..
How to Help the Florida Keys Right Now
Some people have messaged us asking how they could help the Keys. Besides manual labor clearing trees and debris, the immediate needs of the people here (and I am summarizing) is money. We are almost entirely driven by tourism and we have now gone without it for over a month – which means no income. October is going to be slow as well (the streets are pretty empty), evacuating for two weeks was costly, and repairs/rebuilds to homes and businesses are pricey as well. We had a housing crisis before Hurricane Irma so now it is even worse. Our rents here are as high as New York City, but no one has any work right now, and many still do not have a home.
So, if you’d like to help, please consider donating to one of the following local organizations who are helping residents with temporary rent assistance (among other things):
- Florida Keys Outreach Coalition: http://www.fkoc.org/index.html
- Sister Season: http://www.sisterseason.com
- Catholic Charities: 2706 Flagler Ave # 11, Key West, FL 33040 Phone: (305) 292-9790; http://www.ccadm.org(website is for the organization overall)
- Kair: http://www.kaironline.net
- Salvation Army Key West: http://www.salvationarmyflorida.org/keywest/
These local organizations helped locals with rent during the housing crisis before Irma, and now they need all the funds they can get. It is a great way to get money to people who need it here.
I will post more websites for other ways soon.
As for us, our rental sailboats (Mango, Ninja, Bamboo), and the sailboat we lived on all survived floating with minor damages. We are in the process of repairs right now. However, we were working on a new camping “platform” and a Zen houseboat for this year that unfortunately are both in splinters now.