SHOUT OUTS: Nearly 100 Bergen County residents whose homes were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy have had repairs completed, and another 80 are being done, but there are countless others who haven’t applied for assistance — and that the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, Inc. is hoping to find them.
A committee coordinated by the Volunteer Center was awarded $600,000 in grants this week to continue the recovery effort.
The Robin Hood Foundation is providing a new grant of $250,000 to assist low-income and working-class residents. Grants can range to up to $10,000 per family, and can be used to pay bills or purchase gift cards, appliances, supplies, materials or services.
Meanwhile, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund is providing $350,000.
The money goes to the Bergen County Hurricane Sandy Long Term Recovery Committee, which brings together more than four dozen organizations to help with the effort. Case managers at the Recovery Information Center assess needs of storm survivors and presents requests for funding to the LTC.
So far, the needs of more than 700 residents have been assessed, and more than 400 families are actively being helped, said Janet Sharma, the volunteer center’s executive director.
“The homes that were damaged here are located primarily in Moonachie and Little Ferry and suffered up to nine feet of flooding,” Sharma told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“We have tried to reach out to everyone who has filed with FEMA either through email or snail mail,” she said. “There are also numerous undocumented residents, as well as those who for some reason or another did not apply for FEMA assistance.
“We’re hoping to reach them so they can come in for an assessment.”
Of the 715 clients who have stepped forward, 432 have been assigned to one of nearly a dozen case managers. Of that group, 92 have had home repairs completed and 80 homes are in progress.
Other benefits have included:
- rent or mortgage payments;
- replacement of computers needed to produce income;
- help in buying a used car;
- payment of one quarter of real estate taxes;
- replacement of clothing lost in the storm;
- replacement of furnaces and other equipment/appliances;
- replacement of lost tools
By the end of October, the volunteer center had received $1,36 million in funding.
It paid out $632,341 in direct services to residents and put another $403,438 toward removing or remediating mold from homes.
Bergen County residents who still need assistance with recovery from Hurricane Sandy are urged to call the LTRC’s Recovery Information Center to make an assessment appointment: (201) 470-3143
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