NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Robin Hood -- New York's largest poverty-fighting organization -- has announced its latest round of grants to relief organizations that are helping victims of Hurricane Sandy, and includes Robin Hood's first grants to organizations supporting storm victims on Long Island. Thanks to its generous donors, Robin Hood is funding the most effective community-based organizations in the tri-state area that are helping people recover from the storm.
At its weekly meeting held December 5, Robin Hood's Relief Fund Committee approved the following grants, bringing the total granted thus far to $10.5 million:
Brooklyn Jubilee provides free legal services, and has set up a semi-permanent trailer with private offices in front of one of Coney Island's central community centers, Gospel Assembly Church, at the heart of activity on Coney Island. Working five days/week (including Saturdays and early evening hours to accommodate working families), Brooklyn Jubilee will offer assistance – free of charge—to people who need legal representation on matters related to Hurricane Sandy, including eviction prevention, home/apartment repairs, public benefit assistance, FEMA denials, and disaster unemployment assistance. The trailer will also host a benefits specialist to help qualifying families apply for and enroll in food stamps and Medicaid.
City Meals on Wheels
New York City
City Meals on Wheels delivers hot, nutritious meals to senior citizens and people with disabilities throughout the five boroughs of New York. Following Hurricane Sandy, they saw a 60% increase in demand for their services, as thousands of people struggled without heat and electricity. This grant will enable them to restock warehouse shelves to ensure that some of our more vulnerable neighbors are prepared for the winter months ahead.
New York City
NYC's Department of Housing, Prevention and Development has asked Common Ground to help families displaced by Sandy move into available apartments on a temporary basis while their homes undergo needed repairs. This grant will cover some of Common Ground's out-of-pocket costs associated with their work to ensure families have the services needed.
Community Food Bank of New Jersey
This supplemental additional grant to Community Food Bank of New Jersey will enable them to hire additional employees to assist clients with food stamp applications, tax preparation and additional warehouse employees to help with food distribution and outreach.
El Centro de Hospitalidad, Inc.
El Centro services the undocumented immigrant community in Port Richmond, Staten Island. As a result of Sandy, many from the immigrant community lost their housing and are now in overcrowded apartments doubled-up with family and friends. El Centro will work with these families to secure new housing, and as needed, provide grants to these families for security deposits and other initial costs to help re-settle approximately 25 families.
Family Service League
FSL serves 47,000 clients per year through programs that focus on behavioral health, housing and homeless intervention, family support, job development, children/youth and seniors. Funding will cover direct relief expenses including food, prescription and medical supplies, lost employment income, and utility payments for approximately 350 families, as well as staffing for mental health services for 200 individuals as well as tax/benefit assistance for 450 families.
FEGS Health and Human Services System
Sandy caused damage to thousands of Long Island homes that now need repairs. Working in conjunction with multiple providers across Long Island, FEGS will help 500 families repair and rebuild their homes by offering case management (helping to navigate the claims/filing process); connecting homeowners to volunteers, charities and professionals who can help clear the debris and ready their homes for repairs/rebuilding; and identify reputable contractors and trade professionals that can restore their homes to normalcy.
Gerritsen Beach Cares
Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, is a peninsula located in Zone B, which did not receive an evacuation order in advance of Hurricane Sandy. Accordingly, many residents stayed in their homes which were subsequently flooded. At the end of November, there were still approximately 300 homes that did not have power. Gerritsen Beach Cares is helping to connect residents to NYC's "Rapid Repairs" program to bring in contractors to restore power, heat and other essentials free of charge, and is also providing residents with free mental health counseling.
Interfaith Nutritional Network
In addition to operating 19 soup kitchens on Long Island, INN also runs emergency shelters for homeless families and individuals. Damage caused by Sandy destroyed food and equipment, making it difficult to serve people in need. This grant will help INN make the necessary repairs to continue their important work.
Like many food banks, Island Harvest saw a steep rise in demand following Hurricane Sandy, as thousands of residents were without electricity and heat. While Island Harvest normally delivers 9-10 million pounds of food to its network of food pantries and soup kitchens per year, in the month of November alone they delivered 3 million pounds of food. This grant will allow Island Harvest to purchase pre-packed and ready-to-eat meals for communities still in need, and allow them to hire the staff needed to handle the tremendous increase in demand.
Make the Road
New York City and Long Island
A long-time Robin Hood grantee, Make the Road serves the Latino community on Long Island and in New York City. These grants -- $100,000 for New York and $100,000 for Long Island – will help to train and place hundreds of individuals for jobs in Sandy-related cleanup. In addition, funding will cover legal representation for 400 Sandy-impacted families who need legal assistance due to the storm.
New York Legal Assistance Group
New York City and Long Island
Given the myriad of legal needs for many Sandy victims, NYLAG will mobilize teams to offer general and specialized services to Sandy Victims in Long Island (Long Beach, Copiague, Oceanside, Merrick, Bellmore, and others) and in New York (Coney Island, Far Rockaway, Staten Island, and other communities). Services will focus on rental issues, mortgage/foreclosure cases, appeals for denied FEMA benefits and other critical support. NYLAG expects to support 2,000 clients on Long Island and New York. NYLAG will also use funds to provide cash assistance to individuals and families.
Reaching Out Community Services
Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island
Reaching Out Community Services will deploy its mobile food pantries to some of the most affected storm-damaged communities in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, concentrating on areas that saw their local food pantries close due to storm damage. The mobile soup kitchens will serve these communities until the local pantries are able to re-open and resume serving their clients. Funding will provide rental trucks, storage space, fuel, drivers and distribution.
Rutgers School of Social Work
Ocean, Monmouth, Cape May and Atlantic Counties
The Rutgers School of Social work will use this funding to provide clinical mental health services via their network of Cooperative Extension sites in counties most affected by Hurricane Sandy. Services will include: a comprehensive needs assessment, counseling for PTSD and trauma, survivor support groups and other case management services. These programs will be located in Toms River, Mays Landing, Northfield and Freehold.
Food Bank for New York City/NYC Financial Network Action Committee
Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island
Tax implications post-Sandy will be complex. Many will claim casualty losses, but won't know how best to do so. Some will receive reimbursement from FEMA or insurance carriers, but won't know how to report it. Some will become eligible for certain tax credits for Sandy-related tax consequences. This grant will enable Food Bank and NYCFNAC – the two largest free tax preparation providers in the country – to help clients address these tax complexities by offering free tax services to 3,500 people in Sandy-affected areas, including Red Hook, Far Rockaway, Staten Island, and Coney Island.
Sustainable South Bronx
Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) trains and certifies low-income individuals for jobs in environmental remediation, and has a commitment from a staffing firm to hire 20-30 individuals for storm cleanup and recovery work. These jobs would be 40 hours/week for a period of 2 to 3 months, paying $13/hour. SSBx needs transportation support to deliver employees to job sites throughout the region; this grant would cover the costs of operating several vehicles (shuttle rental, drivers, gas, and maintenance) for the next three months.
SOURCE Robin Hood