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Frustrated by relief efforts in disaster-torn Haiti, some community-based organizations in New York City are sending independent convoys to scout for family members, send resources, and assess the medical needs of nurses and doctors who await deployment.

Gethsemane — a Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Flatbush, which has one of the largest Haitian-American congregations in NYC — has had to transform itself, almost overnight, into a makeshift emergency command center. Run by 42 volunteers and church staff, the headquarters serves as a crisis management center, fielding concerns of neighborhood residents, and a communications tower for its delegation, which arrived in Haiti, via the Dominican Republic, on Jan. 19.