Orlando Gay Clubs Come Together to Support Pulse Staff
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials collect evidence from the parking lot of the Pulse gay night club, the site of a mass shooting days earlier, in Orlando, Florida, June 15.ADREES LATIF / Reuters
Breaking News Emails
Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
The Orlando LGBT community is pulling together to support the staff of Pulse, who have found themselves without a way to pay bills as the nightclub sits shuttered In the wake of Sunday's horrific attack.
Parliament House, a stronghold of the local LGBT scene, is coordinating with other clubs and working with the owners of Pulse to find ways to support their now unemployed staff, among other efforts to help the overall community.
"We're going to be setting up a Pulse bar here Friday, Saturday and Sunday," " said Parliament House Manager, Tim Evanicki. "Liquor companies have donated all of the alcohol so that 100 percent of everything that's purchased from the Pulse bar ... we want to make it available for the pulse bartenders to work in so they have a place to work... they have to have income. And that's going to continue Friday, Saturday, Sunday at this point, indefinitely."
The Morning Rundown
Get a head start on the morning's top stories.
The 41-year-old resort has been collecting funds since the attack, so far $3,000 has been donated in person and they've also set up a donation button on their website. Two other gay clubs in the area, Hammered Lamb and Southern Nights, are holding fundraisers Wednesday evening.
Evanicki estimated that 40 employees were impacted directly or indirectly by Omar Mateen's rampage but that number alone doesn't represent the true need of people whose lives have been upturned.
"These are 40 families," Evanicki said. Add that to the 53 families of the injured and the 49 families of the dead and the need is staggering, Evanicki noted.
Parliament House is also hosting their first Latin night since the shooting this Thursday, which will be headlined by Melina Leon, a well-known Puerto Rican actress and singer who is donating her time for the event. A bigger fundraiser will be held on June 25, with some as-yet unconfirmed acts.
The club has also collaborated with grief organizations to provide counseling services to survivors and others in the community.
And, for all the heartache, Evanicki believes strongly that there will be a positive outcome.
"Everyone is sort of finding their niche and their way to help right now," he said. "If there's any silver lining to a tragedy like this it's that at the end of the day the community will come back stronger than it was before and that's always the case."