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Jewish Community Services Of South Florida Helping Families Impacted By Surfside Condo Collapse

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The images of the Surfside building collapse are heartbreaking and horrifying to anyone who sees them.

For the families involved, it's another level of anguish. That's where Jewish Community Services of South Florida comes in.

Miriam Singer is President and CEO of the not-for-profit that has been up and running for more than 100 years.

"We've been at the site since Day 1 providing support to families, providing counseling to families. We are there to assess their immediate needs," said Singer.

JCS has gone straight to where the families are now.

"We continue to go to families in the space where they are awaiting news in the hotels, where they have found safe haven. For survivors, we've been providing services through our alliances with different synagogues, different community-based groups," she said.

CBS4's Lisa Petrillo asked Singer, who works with the families and survivors.

"We have 15 part-time clinicians and 5 that are full-time based. They are licensed clinicians that are trauma-informed and culturally competent for our diverse community that has been impacted. They have experience in disaster response and trauma," Singer explained.

"What are you hearing from these people? What do you they want most?" asked Petrillo.

"What they want most is closure and answers and so what we provide is supportive services to try and assist and support the processing of information of grief," she explained.

"There are different stages of grief, different stages of shock and trauma and our licensed clinicians are experienced at this particular area. It's a unique and specialized area of care."

Jewish Community Services of South Florida provides services to anyone and everyone.

Singer says when it comes to this disaster, it's a long road ahead.

"The most important is stabilization for these families and that's about housing, food services, being able to get a car, get a phone, a laptop, clothing," she said.

The basic necessities for survival and stability. We will work with them to their point and then when they are ready for therapeutic interventions. It usually takes 3-5 years."

Mental health services are available onsite in Surfside or by calling 2-1-1, which is a free, confidential helpline. For more info on Jewish Community Services of South Florida (JCS)

Click here for more mental health resources in the Surfside area.

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