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Community rallies together to help Haitian daughter, father move into new Halifax home

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A father and daughter from Haiti who were living in a hotel for almost a year are now settled into their new Halifax home thanks to help from dedicated volunteers.

Although Sergo and Nessa came to Halifax with very little, their new community rallied around them to help purchase things like furniture and groceries.

"It's a really good feeling," said family friend Hanah Chapman. "I think a lot about what they must have gone through to get here, and especially the little girl who's my daughter's age... I'm really happy to be able to help them out and hopefully set them up for a life here."

"It's just been really amazing seeing the community come together. All these folks who don't necessarily even know the family at all, that people have been very generous with their time and their money."

Chapman says it was a miracle the pair were even able to get their new apartment – something Sergo worried he'd never be able to do.

"As a Haitian, when you leave the country, you leave your family, you leave people who were really close to you, you leave everything," said Sergo.

Sergo said he couldn't be more grateful for the support he has received.

Midkenley Desert with the Halifax Refugee Clinic says his field of work opened his eyes to how much community members can be willing to help newcomers.

"Such great people put themselves together to help and support people in need," he said.

Kimberly Reardon was one of the organizers helping the father-daughter duo. She says even with Sergo working to support his daughter, support from the community was still needed.

"Sergo has been working since day one pretty much, cleaning and providing what he can for Nessa. So, as a parent as well, you want to support people who are really trying their best and working really hard,” she said.

"There's a lot of people like this. You know, we were able to pull together for this one family and it's been sort of easier to connect because we know them. But there's millions of people like this who haven't had the good fortune so I hope everybody can think about that and help in whatever way they can," added Chapman.

Anyone interested in helping other families like Sergo and Nessa can visit the Halifax Refugee Clinic's website.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jamie Morrison.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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