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NYC Centers Offer Long-Term Sandy Recovery Support

By James Smith
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 14, 2012 Last Updated: November 14, 2012
Related articles: United States » New York City
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a new restoration center at the Far Rockaways in the Queens borough of New York City, Nov. 13. Seven centers have been set up in the city for people who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. The centers will offer assistance to residents and businesses in the recovery process. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a new restoration center at the Far Rockaways in the Queens borough of New York City, Nov. 13. Seven centers have been set up in the city for people who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. The centers will offer assistance to residents and businesses in the recovery process. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—As the days turn to weeks, New Yorkers affected by Superstorm Sandy will receive continued assistance through seven new restoration centers set up throughout the city. Four centers opened Tuesday: on Coney Island, Staten Island, Far Rockaway, and Gravesend. The remaining three will open later in the week at Red Hook, Breezy Point, and Throggs Neck-Pelham Bay.

The centers will serve as one-stop shops providing residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy with the help they need said Mayor Bloomberg. Services include a link to residential, financial, health, environmental, and nutritional services, as well as Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) reimbursement processing.

The restoration centers will pool information and link to the resources of all city government services available in the aftermath of the storm. All centers have bilingual services and will be wheelchair accessible.

Shirley Sourzes, a resident of Far Rockaway, stands with a neighbor in front of the restoration center in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York City, Nov. 13. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Shirley Sourzes, a resident of Far Rockaway, stands with a neighbor in front of the restoration center in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York City, Nov. 13. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

“Our main concern is to get everybody hot water and electricity—particularly as we approach colder months,” said Mayor Bloomberg at a newly opened center in the Rockaways Tuesday.

The centers will also help to facilitate the NYC Rapid Repairs scheme, which is aimed at repairing damages to homes resulting from the storm. “There are not enough contractors in the best of times,” Bloomberg said. The scheme will offer free assessments of damages and if chosen provide contractors to undertake the repairs. The scheme will oversee and ensure reasonable rates and services are offered. The mayor will accept contractors from far and wide to partake in the scheme.

“We’re going to minimize, as much as possible, the effort to get things back up and running,” said Linda Gibbs, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services.

“I think it is good for the community,” said Shirley Sourzes, a resident of Far Rockaway. Sourzes had previously suffered a stroke and required ongoing treatment during the storm and its aftermath, however the hospitals in her area remain closed. She came to the center on Tuesday to seek advice on what her options are.

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