Posts Tagged ‘Sandy survivors’

Sandy Survivors: A Year Rebuilding Lives

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan comforts a Sandy Survivor after the Hurricane Sandy Anniversary Mass of Remembrance at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Staten Island

By Alice Kenny

When Hurricane Sandy battered New York one year ago, its fierce flood waters destroyed homes, livelihoods and communities.

On this sad anniversary and every day, Catholic Charities celebrates Sandy survivors.  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.

Do you need help? 

  • Tune in to WABC-TV Channel 7 Eyewitness News today at 4:00 pm for a #Superstorm #Sandy One Year Later Live Chat.
  • Beatriz Diaz Taveras, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services, and other experts will be answering your questions about assistance needed one year after Sandy.
  • Visit ABC 7 Online  now to submit your questions. *Please note that due to high participation, not all questions may be answered.
  • Contact us by email.
  • Call our Sandy Help Line: 855-258-0483

Join us today at these Sandy One-Year Anniversary Events – All are welcome:

4:00PM Walk Along the Boardwalk
Sand Lane and Fr. Capodanno Blvd (by the Dolphins)
Community resilliency walk along the shoreline
showing that Sand has not defeated us. Kids welcome!

5:00PM Community Supper
Picnic area at Midland and Lincoln Avenue
Delicioud food and music for the whole family.

6:30PM Interfaith Service of Remembrance
Boardwalk at Midland and Loncolin Avenue
Meditation from faith leaders, music and signing,
invitation to share reflections and prayer.

7:45PM “Light the Shore” Vigil
The waterfront closest to your home.We invite you to light a candle with your neighbors near the waterfront closest to your home in remembrance of our losses and to honor the way our community has com together .

Help us:

“Still Here” Proclaims Driftwood Sign by Sandy Survivor

Monday, August 12th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Little — in fact, nearly nothing other than the “Still Here,” driftwood sign Audrey Jill Sherry spray painted outside her hurricane-torn home — offered any hope last December that her home remained inhabited.   What belonged inside the house — furniture, clothes and photos of family long gone — was now packed into 200 garbage bags that filled two dumpsters.  They stood on the front lawn amid water-slogged shoes, an upended kitchen table, crushed Christmas decorations and a torn American flag.  Meanwhile, dead fish, rocks, shells and mud up to the rafters now took the furniture’s place.

Two cedar trees felled by the storm gouged the roof. A 60-foot-tall tree, now split in two, splayed across the lawn.  Ms. Sherry’s home now had no doors and no windows.  There was no electricity, no heat, no hot water.  Even Ms. Sherry’s truck had been washed away.

“I was too stunned to even ask for help,” says Ms. Sherry who lived in the two-story brick-faced Seaview Avenue home for more than three decades.

Ms. Sherry learned about the Hurricane Sandy Restoration Center established and staffed by Catholic Charities and fellow first responders four weeks after Hurricane Sandy washed more than nine feet of water into her home. She called and met with Catholic Charities Disaster Case Manager Supervisor Elizabeth Netherwood 10 minutes later.

“She opened up her heart and arms, telling me ‘I can do this for you; I can help you,” Ms. Sherry says.  “It was a turning point; I realized I needed help and I was going to get it.”

Ms. Netherwood linked Ms. Sherry to services offered by FEMA and other first responders.  She gave her Salvation Army gift certificates.  And she used Catholic Charities funds to purchase a $699 generator to heat and electrify Ms. Sherry’s home.

The generator lifted Ms. Sherry’s spirits while inserting a dose of reality.  She could now clearly see mold growing on her peeling walls and the shattered glass wedged between her buckling floors.

She scrubbed, cleaned, and hosed down the inside of the house as if it were a shower.  And slowly, with help, she began to rebuild.

Buttressed by the support she received, she brought blankets to a neighbor who has cancer and clothes to a vendor down the street who lost his hotdog truck to the storm.

“For every kindness given to me I need to pay that forward,” she says as she takes a break from scrubbing her home.  “I don’t know what the next step is; I just know in my heart that I will be provided for as long as I do my part and I know that I’ll be okay.”

 

Going door to door, tent to shed, to serve those still suffering from Superstorm Sandy.

Friday, July 26th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Although nine months have passed since Hurricane Sandy pushed ocean waves down the streets of Staten Island’s Midland Beach, upending cars, flooding homes and destroying nearly everything in its wake, some residents of this seaside community still live in makeshift tents and sheds.  Some even sleep on park benches.

Many still need assistance with basic needs such as food and shelter. This includes children, the elderly, and new immigrants. Nine months into this disaster and many believe they have nowhere to turn for help.

A number of local volunteer organizations have been created or expanded to address these needs. “Every night a volunteer goes out in search of those still in need of a meal and a place to sleep,” says Catholic Charities Community Development Coordinator Lourdes Ferrer.

Over three hundred Sandy survivors already receive support from Catholic Charities disaster case managers stationed at Catholic Charities’ office at 120 Anderson Avenue in Staten Island. But rather than just waiting for Sandy survivors to come to Catholic Charities, disaster case managers also go to them.

Catholic Charities manages the New York State Disaster Case Management Program. Designed to streamline support and avoid frustration and confusion, the Disaster Case Management program whittles down the complex system of disaster support by providing survivors with a single point of contact to access a broad range of resources. This allows people still reeling from the loss of jobs and homes to avoid the need to search out multiple organizations that might respond to their various needs. Instead, survivors can relate their experiences and submit their documentation to a single, local disaster case manager who guides them through the recovery process.

Many residents of Staten Island never before had to ask for social service help and were unsure of the value of these services.  They initially hoped they could do everything themselves.

So Catholic Charities teamed up with local “hubs,” ad hoc service centers that sprang up in neighborhoods hit hardest by the hurricane to provide food, water, clothing, supplies and services, educate the community and reach more of those in need.   Case managers from Catholic Charities now help staff the Staten Island Alliance office on Colony Ave, enrolling many new clients into the program and meeting with existing clients.  Case managers are also able to meet with clients in their homes.  To extend these services, Catholic Charities disaster case managers are preparing to staff another hub in the New Dorp neighborhood in Staten Island. By meeting staff at home, in local hubs and Catholic Charities offices, hurricane survivors can feel comfortable in familiar surroundings close to home among people they know.

“People think that because so many months have passed, that everything is back to ‘normal’,” Lourdes said. “But the reality is there are communities in Staten Island that are still recovering and struggling to accept the new ‘normal’.”

Localized, Streamlined Support for Sandy Survivors

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Press conference spotlights services for Sandy survivors.

By Alice Kenny

Chinatown political representatives joined TV correspondents and reporters at a well-attended press conference held at the Greater Chinatown Community Association (GCCA) in Manhattan’s Chinatown last week to broadcast the latest information about disaster support for Sandy survivors. Watch it on SINOVISION.net.

GCCA, an affiliated agency of the Archdiocese of New York’s federation, is one of more than fifteen social service agencies extending from Long Island to the Hudson Valley providing local, on-the-ground disaster case management to individuals with homes or businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy.  The New York State Disaster Case Management Program, managed by Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York, will provide approximately 200 disaster case managers to assist individuals and families in the 13 -New York counties hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.

Designed to streamline support and avoid frustration and confusion, the Disaster Case Management program whittles down the complex system of disaster support by providing survivors with a single point of contact to access a broad range of resources. This allows people still reeling from the loss of jobs and homes to avoid the need to search out multiple organizations that might respond to their various needs.

Instead, survivors can relate their experiences and submit their documentation to a single, local disaster case manager who guides them through the recovery process.  This local model of providing disaster support proves particularly important in sites such as Chinatown where language barriers can make a confusing process almost overwhelming.

An elderly Chinese man with lung cancer whose basement apartment flooded during the storm, for example, received different answers from so many different places that, by the time he came to GCCA for help, “he was ready to give up,” said GCCA Executive Director Chih-Ping (Andy) Yu.

Disaster case managers are both advocates and expediters for those affected by Sandy. They first assess if clients have unmet needs related to the storm. If people qualify, they will be assigned a disaster case manager to serve as a single point of contact for all  assistance, including that coming from insurance companies, private organizations, and government. Then, based on interactions with the client, the service coordinators create individualized disaster recovery plans, including advocating for access to needed services, coordinating benefits, and making referrals for services outside the scope of disaster case management. Existing Sandy-related services for individuals and families range from direct federal and state grants and Small Business Administration loans to insurance advocacy and referrals to the range of not-for-profit and voluntary programs that have been established.

The program is modeled after a similar one run by Catholic Charities Community Services in 34 counties across New York State following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

Eligibility for the Sandy New York State Disaster Case Management Program is open to anyone with an unmet need that arose from or was exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy, even those who have not applied to FEMA for assistance or are undocumented.

Looking for help?

  • Call 1-855-258-0483 to find the location nearest you.
  • Are you a Sandy survivor who lives in Chinatown or speaks a Chinese dialect and is looking for help? Contact the Greater Chinatown Community Association, 105 Mosco Street, New York, NY 10013.  Phone 212-374-1311. www.gccanyc.org.
  • For a full list of disaster case management locations, visit www.catholiccharitiesny.org.

Hurt By Hurricane Sandy?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013


Whether you have applied for FEMA or not
— even if you were not eligible or were denied assistance — there may be local

resources available for you.

A trained, compassionate case manager can work one-on-one with you to:

  • Answer your questions about recovery
  • Develop a plan to address your needs
  • Connect you with appropriate community resources
  • Determine what financial assistance may be available to you
  • Advocate on your behalf with service and benefit providers

 

Call Today – Help is Here:
855-258-0483
Monday – Friday: 9am to 5pm

 

Find Local Agencies for Help:

 

AGENCY                                                                                                                PHONE #
Bronx
BronxWorks 718-508-3194
Brooklyn
Arab-American Family Support Center 718-643-8000
Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled 718-998-3000
Brooklyn Community Services 718-310-5620
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens 718-722-6223
Council of Peoples in Organization (COPO) 718-434-3266
Good Shepherd Services 718-522-6910/6911
Greater Chinatown Community Association 212-374-1311
Lutheran Social Services of New York 718-942-4196
Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty 212-453-9539

917-281-6721

Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton- Manhattan Beach 347-689-1880/1817
Manhattan
Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York 855-258-0483
Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) 212-674-2300
Greater Chinatown Community Association 212-374-1311
Queens
Arab-American Family Support Center 718-643-8000
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens 718-722-6223
Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) 646-442-4186

212-674-2300

Greater Chinatown Community Association 212-374-1311
Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty 212-453-9539

917-281-6721

SCO Family of Services 516-493-6457/5284
Staten Island
Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York 718-447-6330, ext. 121
El Centro del Inmigrante 718-420-6466
Lutheran Social Services of New York 718-942-4196
JCC of Staten Island 718-475-5213
Long Island
Catholic Charities Diocese of Rockville Centre 631-608-8883/8882
Family Service League 631-369-0104
FEGS Health and Human Services 516-496-7550, press 6
Lutheran Social Services of New York 516-483-3240 ext. 3030
Hudson Valley
Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York 845-344-4868

 

Additional service providers will be included.

The New York State Disaster Case Management Program is operated by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York under the auspices of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Emergency Management and funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

It’s Random Act of Kindness Week. Let’s Celebrate.

Monday, February 11th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

You’re Invited:

What: Random Act of Kindness week 
Uh…What? Just like it sounds: Surprise someone with kindness – this week or every week.
When: February 11-17
Why: Why not!
How:

  • Read to a Child
  • Visit someone sick
  • Help coach a youth sports team
  • Collect canned food for a food bank
  • Mentor an at-risk teen
  • Tutor English
  • Teach seniors to quilt
  •  Help Sandy survivors

And that’s just for starters. Catholic Charities offers dozens of volunteer opportunities for your random – or ongoing – acts of kindness.

Simply type in a key word such as “children” or “marathon” and your zip code.

Ready to start volunteering right away?
Visit Getting Started to learn your next steps.

How to Help New Yorkers in the New Year

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Thank you for everything you do throughout the year to help Catholic Charities provide help and create hope for New Yorkers.

When considering a year-end gift, it’s important to make sure your contribution will make an impact. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York has once again been recertified by the Better Business Bureau’s Charity Review Program, meaning its policies and procedures have been reviewed and meet the standards of the charitable accountability of the Better Business Bureau’s Philanthropic Advisory Service.

While Catholic Charities continues to help Sandy survivors, we need to remember the many others in New York who need help every day. Your 2012 tax-deductible gift can help Catholic Charities protect and nurture children; keep families housed and fed; help immigrants become part of their new home; allow persons with disabilities to find employment; provide necessities for New Yorkers in crisis.

There’s still time to help give families a good beginning for 2013. Donate today, or sign up to volunteer.

What are some ways you’re planning to help your neighbors in the new year?

Catholic Charities Volunteers Visit Home-Bound Seniors to Provide Help

Friday, December 14th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities staff and volunteers continue to partner with parishes and communities to assist people affected by Sandy, identifying those who still need help throughout the Archdiocese. For example, the storm presented a particular hardship for home-bound seniors on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, leaving them not only stuck in their houses but all alone as well.

This weekend, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers will go door-to-door among several especially hard-hit buildings in the neighborhood to assess the needs of residents. In addition to handing out informational flyers, volunteers will check in on individuals and determine how many seniors are in need of help or company.

With the information they learn from residents, Catholic Charities will plan new programs to meet the long-term needs of Sandy survivors.

If you would like to volunteer for one of the ongoing opportunities, sign up on our volunteer website: