From the time Hurricane Sandy hit, Catholic Charities has been providing disaster relief. From disaster response professionals visiting homes and parishes to provide resources and information to individuals facing horrendous loss, to volunteers collecting and distributing food and supplies, to neighbors checking in on neighbors, the entire Catholic Charities community has responded to meet the human needs of the victims, providing help, creating hope and rebuilding lives.
Archive for the ‘Staten Island’ Category
By Alice Kenny
Thirteen years later we remember clearly loved ones lost and heroes who risked their lives trying to save them during the overwhelming tragedy we now refer to simply as “9/11.”
We all feel it. And like most, we at Catholic Charities wish there were no tragedies, no children left alone to grieve, no communal catastrophes we mourn together. But whether a crisis is personal or communal we stand in the forefront of response.
After 9/11, Catholic Charities helped found the 9/11 United Services Group, a consortium of 13 major human services agencies coordinating aid to World Trade Center victims. Msgr. Kevin Sullivan served as its first chairperson.
Thanks to the generosity of so many, Catholic Charities helped nearly 10,000 individuals, providing counseling, scholarships, employment assistance, service coordination and crucial financial aid.
We invite you to share your memories to honor those loved and lost here in the comments section below and on Facebook.
By Alice Kenny
It may be time for a new name – but certainly not a new focus – for the Shootin’ School, a program that partners with Catholic Charities CYO in Staten Island to help children perfect their basketball moves while encouraging them to rally around those in need.
Throughout the summer, children grades three through eight participated in four-day clinics to perfect their layups, free throws and all-round basketball shooting. Several of the children come from low-income families. They received scholarships so they could play with their classmates and peers.
Then, last week, on the program’s final day its founder, Anthony Passalaqua, provided the players with pizza lunch in return for food they brought to help replenish the Catholic Charities food pantry in Port Richmond.
By Alice Kenny
Heroin has hit the suburbs. Far too many of us are mourning the loss of children we once knew.
‘”The obituaries have a certain sameness to them,” write J. David Goodman and Michael Wilson in this week’s New York Times, “full of praise and regret for lives cut short, marked by telltale details and omissions. The deaths occurred at home, or at a friend’s house elsewhere on Staten Island. The mourned were often young and white, and although how they died was never mentioned, nearly everyone knew or suspected the cause.
“A 23-year-old man, a cello student in high school and the son of an elevator company vice president died in March. A former high school hockey player who delivered newspapers died in 2013 at 22. Another 23-year-old man who was working construction died at home in July 2012. Family members and autopsy reports revealed that they died from heroin or combinations of drugs including heroin.
“As the problem worsened, (gatherings began being) held at a nearby school, attached to Our Lady Star of the Sea, a Roman Catholic church on Amboy Road. Nearby, in the basement of the church rectory, a Pills Anonymous group meets.”
In Staten Island and suburbs throughout the New York Archdiocese and the nation, the scourge of heroin is tightening its grip. Thirty-six people died in Staten Island from heroin overdoses in 2012, reports The Times, the highest number in at least a decade. The death rate was higher than the city’s other four boroughs had seen in 10 years.
More than a dozen heroin-related overdose deaths occurred in northern Westchester and Putnam counties in the last year as well, reports the Ossining Daily Voice. Tragically, two deaths were reported just six days apart in small, suburban Cortlandt Manor.
Catholic Charities treats and supports those who are struggling to break the cycle of substance abuse. Far too often, substance abusers affect their families, homes, careers, and their health in ways that hurt others, as well as themselves. These programs are designed to touch all stages of the recovery process to assist an individual to become a functioning human being once again and take full advantage of the precious gift of life. Programs range from out-patient clinics and support groups to inpatient recovery programs. Support is also available to family members.
Are you or someone you know struggling with addiction?
To find a Catholic Charities agency that offers preventive services click here.
For more help, call our Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.
By Alice Kenny
In the Wall Street Journal’s recent series uncovering shortcomings in New York City’s Sandy recovery programs, Reporter Michael Howard Saul turned to Msgr. Kevin Sullivan for insight. Frustrated Hurricane Sandy storm victims and elected officials, Mr. Saul reports, say City Hall has been heavy on promises and short on results.
“Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, which is helping storm victims, said homeowners’ recovery efforts ‘have been made even more challenging by layers of red tape brought on by the multiple layers of government agencies involved in the process.'”
To counter this morass, Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Wall Street Journal that his recently appointed administration has been working “day and night to hack through the red tape.”
Meanwhile, Catholic Charities continues to help Sandy victims recover. From the time Hurricane Sandy pounded New York, Catholic Charities has been providing disaster relief to those who need it. From disaster response professionals visiting parishes to deliver information and resources, to volunteers collecting and distributing food and supplies, to neighbors checking in on neighbors, the entire Catholic Charities community has responded to meet the human needs of the victims, providing help and creating hope for rebuilding lives.
The New York State Disaster Case Management Program run by Catholic Charities has provided information, referral and disaster case management to nearly 22,000 households.
“Families and homeowners who are rebuilding from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy are still facing a complex and long-term recovery,” Msgr. Sullivan said. “Our long-term case management for these families is critical to navigating some of the unintended consequences that arise such as potentially higher tax bills on their property that they did not anticipate.”
Are you struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy?
- Learn how Catholic Charities can help you.
- Call our Sandy Help Line: 855-258-0483
By Alice Kenny
Catholic Charities Staten Island Senior Center just hired Laddie Boy, our latest and likely best-ever volunteer.
The therapy dog passed a stringent interview process, correctly responding to a demanding series of Q and A’s: “Sit” (and Laddie sits); “Down” (and Laddie lies down); “Stay” (Well, you’ve got the idea.)
Highly trained and a real people ..err.. dog person, Laddie is part of the Angels On A Leash program,* clocking in his hours at the senior center.
Staff members Marni Caruso and Lisa Harrison say they enjoy getting to know Laddie – as he literally sniffs things out — to make sure he is a good fit.
Needless to say, it was an amazing experience watching him meet clients, they added. The positive energy and excitement generated make them sure he is the perfect for this group.
Moreover, they look forward to consistent visits…and Laddie looks forward to consistent pets and treats.
By Alice Kenny
Wow. This was a close one. While more than a foot of snow was predicted to pummel New York today, the reality, thankfully, turned into just a dusting.
But as we learned this winter when more than five feet of snow pounded our homes, streets and sidewalks and temperatures dropped – and dropped again — into the single digits, severe weather can be just around the corner.
That’s why Catholic Charities is proud to support National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2-8, 2014.
Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort designed to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone and to encourage individuals, families’ businesses and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example.
As we know firsthand from Hurricane Sandy, being prepared to act quickly can be a matter of survival. Even though severe weather was anticipated in advance, many in the impacted areas said they did not have a plan and were caught unprepared.
Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
- Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts.
- Take Action: Before storms strike, develop a family communication plan and pull together an emergency supplies kit.
- Be an Example: Share your preparedness story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Letting others know that you’re prepared will prompt them to prepare as well. Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others.
Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against damages caused by hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and other severe weather.
By Alice Kenny
Stay safe. Stay inside. Call 311 if you need help.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency today, Wednesday, February 5, as another storm pounds the region with snow, sleet and freezing rain.
Winter storm warnings are now in effect for the entire area until 6pm. Heavy snow is transitioning to sleet and freezing rain.
Please use extra caution if you must venture out today. Temperatures are below freezing in our region and even as the snow changes to rain, it is freezing and creating a sheet of ice on all surfaces.
Due to the storm and icing conditions, NYC Department for the Aging closed all senior centers for Wednesday, February 5, 2014.
To ensure seniors’ safety, we ask that all seniors avoid going outside until the storm has cleared and call their respective senior centers and/or 311 to find out more information about post-storm operations.
Meanwhile, The New York City Office of Emergency Management issued a hazardous travel advisory and Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging commuters to use mass transit. However, due to signal problems, there are currently numerous 1, 2, 3 train service disruptions between Times Square and each line’s northernmost stop. For updates, please visit www.mta.info.
But the best advice is to stay inside. Ice associated with the storm can knock down trees and power lines and make walking treacherous.
Do you need help?
Call the Catholic Charities Help Line: 888-744-7900, or email us through our contact form.
By Alice Kenny
Exacerbating cuts made last November in food stamp programs that feed the hungry, Congress is now eying significant additional reductions, reports The New York Times on Wednesday, January 22.
“Food banks across the country,” reports The New York Times, “are increasing efforts to prepare for the increased demand even as donations decline.”*
It is crucial now more than ever to join with us in Feeding Our Neighbors, our united effort to fight hunger.
Now in its third year, Catholic Charities will be joined by UJA/Federation to make Feeding Our Neighbors 2014 an interfaith campaign on behalf of New York’s hungry.
Starting January 26th, we’ll be leveraging our collective reach and already expansive networks for even greater impact — with the goal of collecting and distributing a combined one million meals to feed the hungry throughout New York.
Too many children and families struggle every day with hunger.
Feeding Our Neighbors, An Interfaith Response unites Catholic Charities and UJA-Federation of New York, two of the largest faith-based, not-for-profit organizations, to combine efforts to help fight hunger and replenish dwindling supplies.
You can be part of this united effort. Help us collect and distribute food packages across pantries and shelters throughout the New York area.
Because ultimately, we do the most when we do it together.
Click here to donate – and write “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field.
Reading this on your smart phone? Text CCHOPE to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation. (Standard text rates apply.)