The state and Catholic Charities will oversee a $38.5 million program that will provide more than 200 service coordinators to help people affected by Superstorm Sandy recover and access essential services, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon. The state secured the funding from the federal Disaster Case Management Program.
The program provides funding for a partnership between a disaster case manager and disaster survivor to create and carry out a disaster recovery plan. The survivor has a single point of contact to access a broad range of resources.
Residents in New York City and the eight other counties most affected by the storm and who have unmet needs are eligible for assistance — Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster. The service is similar to one Catholic Charities ran in 34 counties following tropical storms Irene and Lee in 2011.
“As recovery from Sandy continues, we’re entering a critical phase where direct one-on-one service will provide survivors with the assistance they need to get their lives back in order,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The Disaster Case Management Program covers every facet of recovery assistance needed by individuals and families to ensure that those hit hard by the storm have their needs addressed efficiently and effectively.”
Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, said the state, New York City and surrounding counties have done a great job making public assistance available to people impacted by the storm, “but sometimes those affected can be overwhelmed by what it takes to get back on their feet.
Having a single point of contact to explain the breadth of services and help navigate the system can be a tremendous help to individuals and families trying to recover from Sandy’s devastation.”
The state expects more than 10,000 people will take advantage of the service. More than 250,000 New York residents have applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance. In past disasters, roughly 5 percent of FEMA applicants took advantage of disaster case-management services. Catholic Charities will either provide the service coordinators directly or subcontract them to locally based nonprofits.
For more information, call 855-258-0483 to find out the location and contact information for the nearest service provider. A full list is on the Catholic Charities website.