haitian volunteers houston
Volunteers inside the NACC Receiving Center in Houston, on Sept. 25. Photo by Leonardo March

Guy Chevalier flew to Houston from his Orlando home on Sunday, eager to help his fellow Haitians, as a volunteer at the NACC Receiving Center. But he was one of more than a dozen volunteers who were not allowed in at midday. 

“We’re trying to figure out where all the Haitians are so we can assist as much as we can,” said Chevalier, a real estate broker. “It’s kind of frustrating because you come here and try to help, and they’re not able to give you any information.” 

To many volunteers who arrived Sunday, the numbers simply do not add up to explain where all the asylum seekers went. Specifically, there were 5,000 Haitians still being processed by Homeland Security at the beginning of this week. They were also frustrated by the lack of organization at the Houston shelter that was housing asylum seekers. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.