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LSS prepared for potential increase of Haitian arrivals in Jacksonville this summer

[Jacksonville, Florida] – Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida (LSS) is anticipating a

potential summer rise in cases from Haitian families seeking refuge, amidst the recent round of

violent attacks in Haiti.

LSS has already noted an increased uptick in cases from Haiti in recent months, with 380 Haitian individuals receiving initial assessments and intakes into LSS refugee services since October 1, 2023. In particular, LSS is also anticipating a possible rise in cases of unaccompanied minors fleeing Haiti, as families may be forced to make difficult decisions to ensure the safety of their children.

These figures underscore the significant need for support for Haitian families, with LSS on track to

serve nearly as many new Haitian arrivals in just six months as it did throughout the entirety of the

previous year. In fiscal year 2023, LSS and its partners served 440 new Haitian arrivals.

"In November 2023, LSS opened a new program called Gap Services specifically for Cuban and

Haitian entrants and other eligible populations as part of our commitment to supporting vulnerable

communities," stated Bill Brim, President & CEO of LSS.

Gap Services provides vital support to those who don’t have access to the Reception & Placement

Program services (those traveling through the US Refugee Admissions Program). Gap Services

provides links to community resources and integrates individuals into the local community. It also

addresses immediate needs and connects individuals to crucial services such as healthcare and

legal aid.

"While the recent violence in Haiti has exacerbated the challenges faced by Haitian families, our

Gap Services program is equipped and ready to provide comprehensive support to those in need,"

Brim added.

To schedule an appointment with Gap Services at LSS, call 904-730-8277 or send an email to For more information about Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida and

their services, please visit

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