The City of Boston opened an emergency response center this morning in Dorchester for local residents trying to contact relatives in earthquake ravaged Haiti.
The center at 150 Mount Vernon St. near the northern end of Morrissey Boulevard has phone lines, translators, grief counselors, and computers with Internet access. Staff members from city agencies are on hand to help local families impacted by the earthquake.
"It's mainly for folks who may need resources like phones and computers," said Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas. M. Menino. "Not all of our Haitian residents have Internet access at home."
The center, which is being hosted in SEIU Local 1199ís union headquarters, will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the weekend and possibly into next week, depending on need. People looking for more information can contact the center by calling (617) 284-1199.
The city will also establish a relief fund to help local families with relatives in Haiti and offer equipment and personnel for search-and rescue operations in the stricken country.
Haitians are one of the largest immigrant groups in Massachusetts, with more than 43,000 in Boston and other nearby cities, including Malden, Brockton, and Somerville.
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