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Long Island organization opens arms to newest Haitian arrivals

UNIONDALE, NY — When Slovenia Dorisca’s two-year-old got sick with the flu, she rushed to North Shore University Hospital for help. With no job and no financial support after arriving from the U.S. border a few months prior, she broke down in tears when a hospital worker told her she would have to pay out of pocket since her daughter did not have health insurance. 

Marie Sonia Saint Rose-Bienvil, a mental health nurse at the hospital, overheard Dorisca’s conversation. She decided to help her through her organization, called Solidarité Haitiano-Américaine de Long Island, or SHALI for short. As it turned out, the sick child was eligible for health coverage, but Dorisca, like many other migrants in the same situation, was unaware.

“Sonia has helped me a lot,” said Dorisca, who left Chile and made the perilous trip north through the Darién Gap to the U.S. last March. 

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