TAMPA - After escaping the horrors of earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Jean Gardy Delmas has made his home in Tampa. "I got a new life, my new life is in the United States," said Delmas, 24.
Gimps Joseph is also living in this South Tampa apartment complex. In the last year, he's done his best to learn English. "Yea. So, so. I'm trying. I'm trying," said Joseph.
About 120 Haitian arrived in Tampa Bay shortly after the disaster. Catholic Charities says they are still looking after 81 men, women and children. "They don't have anything. They came here with nothing. They are doing their best," said case worker Sandra Pierre.
Doing their best despite surviving unspeakable tragedies. Delmas was a student coming home from the library when the earthquake hit. He got caught in a fire that left him severely burned. "It was catastrophic," said Delmas.
His family survived, but Joseph wasn't as fortunate. His wife had her leg amputated. She is paralyzed. And his son, a baby boy, barely a month old, was killed.
"It's very bad for me. The life is very bad for me," said Joseph.
But it is getting better. This group is taking the next step, going on their own to register for English classes at Caribe. It's a program for refugees. Once their language skills improve, they'll be closer to being able to work and support themselves.
"A lot of them, their faith comes into play. They really believe that everything happens for a reason. They don't let it bring them down," said Pierre.
Delmas and Joseph are very thankful for all the support they've received in the US. They and many others hope they can earn a living here, while still having enough money to send for those suffering back in Haiti.
If you want to help the refugees and maybe even adopt a family, go to www.ccdosp.com
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Tampa police are currently investigating a shooting that occurred at 706 West Amelia Avenue.