Sandy Recovery: So Much Going On You Need a Road Map

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By Alice Kenny

After Hurricane Sandy tore through Staten Island, visits to this, the least populated and accessible of all New York City’s five boroughs, have multiplied in ways not seen since the Verrazano Narrows Bridge connected it to the rest of the city

“There is so much going on at the same time that you need a road map,” said Joe Panepinto, who, as director of Catholic Charities Staten Island Services is helping lead the hurricane recovery response.

Yesterday, US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis flew in from Washington DC to visit with day laborers who are assisted by Catholic Charities and have been active in hurricane cleanup efforts. Mayor Michael Bloomberg drove over from Manhattan to announce interim property tax relief for storm-battered homeowners at the Staten Island Disaster Relief Center manned by Catholic Charities staff and others every day, Monday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  And Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari along with FEMA hosted a town hall meeting attended by Catholic Charities staff and packed by residents still reeling from the super storm.

Now as the immediate shock from Sandy’s devastation lessons, government leaders, local residents, Catholic Charities, parishes and communities are rolling up their sleeves to focus on the difficult issue of ensuring long-term recovery.  Catholic Charities is manning the front lines.

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