After Andrew... After Irma... The Salvation Army Serves in Homestead, FL

September 17, 2017
Dulcinea Kimrey | | (813) 638-6873

After Andrew... After Irma... The Salvation Army Serves in Homestead, FL

(Homestead, Fl) - Janice McCray remembers the freight train sound hurricane Andrew made as her and the 13 members of her family huddled in a windowless restroom on the third floor of her apartment 25 years ago last month. 

“We opened the door to the restroom, walked out and looked up,” she said, “our roof was gone.”

Twenty-five years later, Janice once again huddled in a restroom and waited for Hurricane Irma to skirt the Miami suburb that was once devastated by Hurricane Andrew.

“They told us to expect an Andrew-like hurricane,” Janice said as she walked along her street, littered with debris from hurricane Irma. “Andrew was smaller but did a lot of damage. Irma covered the entire state. We weren’t sure what to expect.”

And just like 25 years ago, The Salvation Army continues to serve where the need is most great – in this case its Janice’s neighborhood, Homestead Gardens. A Salvation Army mobile kitchen roved around the neighborhood and served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, by the afternoon, they were serving hamburgers to residents who still didn’t have electricity.

“Everything in the fridge has spoiled,” said resident Samuel Orellana, “I’m so glad for this food.”

One by one, residents huddled under the canteen awing and out of the sun and gratefully accepted a meal. A Salvation Army team member from Canada helped translate from French to the mostly Creole speaking residents. Neus Lenous doesn’t speak English very well. He immigrated to south Miami from Haiti. Irma was his first hurricane.

“The [Haiti] earthquake was scary,” he said, “at least we had a little bit of a warning for Irma.”

The fact it was the 25th anniversary of hurricane Andrew wasn’t lost on pastor Samuel Jocelyn.

“Andrew was a monster,” Jocelyn said. “Irma is an inconvenience- at least we still have our homes, the power will come on eventually."

By the time lunch service wound down, the electricity in McCray’s tiny apartment finally came on.

“Power,” she said, “at least we only had to wait a week, instead of almost a month in Andrew.”

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
Copyright 2020, The Salvation Army. 
Privacy Policy | Contact Us