Project Hospitality Responds to Hurricane Sandy
Since the storm, we have extended resources and dedicated staff in an extraordinary way given the conditions in which Staten Island was left by Hurricane Sandy. Project Hospitality has expanded its infrastructure to properly respond to the needs of our fellow Staten Islanders.
- Project Hospitality is using its fleet of trucks and staff, including our Mobile Food Pantry, to distribute non-perishable food, blankets, personal hygiene products, and other essentials throughout the island to those who have been adversely affected by Super storm Sandy.
- We have distributed gift cards, coordinated clothing drives, a free store, FEMA, Project Hope Mental Health services, and free bilingual legal services out of the disaster areas. We also provide services (i.e. referrals for benefits, entitlements, financial counseling, free legal consultations, filling complaints, providing donations, etc.) out of the city’s Restoration Center.
- Through our soup kitchens and food pantries, including our mobile food pantry, we served a total of 242,300 meals during the month of November, 2012, which represents an astounding 80% increase over the number of meals served in November, 2011. In December 2011, that increase rose to 100%.
- Following the hurricane the City of New York’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) established two Evacuation Centers on Staten Island at Bayley Seton Hospital and the Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat Center. DHS requested that Project Hospitality manage both Centers. In January of 2013 Mount Manresa was closed, and we are still assisting people at Bayley Seton.
- Under the facilitation of our Executive Director Reverend Terry Troia, the Staten Island Community and Interfaith Long Term Disaster Recovery Organization was established. We were able to organize weekly borough-wide meetings which has consistently engaged approximately 100 Staten Island residents and workers, representing 85 CBO’s, national and international disaster relief agencies, FEMA, city, state and government agencies, Occupy Sandy, and residents that experienced devastating loss to dialogue, share resources/information, and organize services to those who have been effected.
- Many immigrant families were affected greatly by the storm and Project Hospitality and El Centro have worked tirelessly to provide access to services and benefits for which they are eligible. We continue to provide transportation of families for needed services, legal counsel, medication, health and mental health services and apartment visits for hurricane victims.