HELP Our Sites & Residents Recover From Hurricane Sandy
16:26PM on November 13 2012
Many of the most vulnerable families and veterans we serve at HELP USA were either homeless or close to it before Sandy; now they are struggling more than ever. Moreover, many of our residents who have gone on to live independently have been set back by the storm and are at risk of sliding back into homelessness.
Additionally, we have taken on a 700 person emergency relocation shelter operated in the Fitzgerald Gym of Queens College. We are currently supervising the site and working with the Red Cross, FEMA, and the Department of Homeless services to help these displaced individuals resettle as rapidly as possible.
The impact of Sandy is real and we will be reaching out to share the challenges and successes with you.
As Mayor Bloomberg pointed out upwards of 40,000 people in New York City are in need of housing in the wake of super storm Sandy. Close to half of these will remain homeless, and many more will fall into homeless in the future weeks if we do not act now.
HELP USA with its nearly 30 residential facilities in the New York City Metro Area is positioned to be an outpost of help and support for the most vulnerable New Yorkers as we have always done 365 days a year. Through our homeless prevention programs for families and specifically veterans at risk of homelessness, we are well situated to assess the needs and address the challenges of those hit the hardest.
As displaced residents try to settle in, HELP staff, volunteers, and residents have worked together despite losses of power and communication to meet the needs of residents in our building and in our community.
Now we are preparing to deal with long term damage of the storm, the increase of homelessness, and the additional strain on our resources.
There are three important ways you can HELP.
1. Emergency Shelter Relief
HELP is operating an emergency relocation shelter for 700 people in the 3 story gymnasium at Queens College.
The main task is to relocate families and singles, so transportation is an issue. Feeding our guest while they wait is another challenge. Laptops or tablet computers would also increase capacity to manage the site, make linkages, and track outcomes. Finally we need to provide after school homework help and recreational activities. The needs are therefore
· Two Vans (12-16 passenger style) for transporting families are need for a two week to one month period.
· Laptop or Tablet (ipad) computers
· Winter coats for children, women, and men
· Recreational activity sponsors and qualified after school tutors and mentors
Sponsors of emergency program costs including food, laundry, and staffing burdens to deliver program that HELP will assume.
2. Sandy Impact Fund
HELP USA is seeking lead partners to provide special assistance for the most vulnerable populations affected by super storm Sandy. The most trying time for most victims will be after the emergency passes and they have to resituate themselves and rebuild their lives. Additionally the impact of Sandy puts pressure on our core work with homeless and impoverished families. Our current residents and those that move on are getting less attention and we anticipate that small needs could cause them to fall back into homelessness.
HELP I seeking to add staff to assess the needs and problems of the homeless, those recently escaping homelessness, and those who at risk of becoming homeless. From these assessments HELP will be able to target resources to prevent people from sliding back into a homeless system which was at capacity at the start of Sandy, and is now bursting at the seams. This after care program could provide the bridge and lifeline needs to mollify the impact of Sandy on the most vulnerable and keep thousands of New Yorker from becoming homeless again.
The Fund will also allow help to target families and individuals at is transitional shelters affect by sandy with assistance to get the housed again quickly.
HELP is seeking out partners to raise $500,000 through gifts and small donor social media campaigns and to help deploy more than 100 volunteers in the effort.
3. Thanksgiving Service after Sandy
What: 5 Options
· Power Ranger Thanksgiving: Volunteer to set up, decorate, refurbish grounds, and serve meals at HELP Bronx Morris, a 200 family homeless shelter. Power Ranger are arriving to help out and to distribute toys to the families.
o 50 volunteers
o Tuesday, Nov. 20th
· Volunteer to distribute 1,500 Meals and Supplies to Homeless and at risk Families
o 300 Meals in Newark, NJ
o 800 Meals in East New York, Brooklyn
o 100 meals in Lower Manhattan
o 200 meals in the Bronx
o 100 meals in Suffolk County
o Thurs. Friday, Nov 15-16
· Thanksgiving Meal Serving at 13th Street near Union Square
o Hot Meal Serving for 500 homeless individuals
o Sponsor needed
· Thanksgiving Serving in Newark with Cory Booker
o 12pm at Newark Clinton Hill
o 1pm at Newark JBJ Soul Homes
· Thanksgiving Day
o Meal serving for 200 single adults on Randall’s Island prepared by HELP USA’s Culinary Kitchen