The Record: Sandy Relief Group wins $200,000 Grant
Will Aid Rebuilding in Moonachie, Little Ferry
Dave Sheingold | The Record
Superstorm Sandy recovery in Bergen County has gotten a boost, in the form of a $200,000 grant from the charity headed by the state’s first lady, that will help coordinate rebuilding and renovation efforts for flooded-out homeowners in Moonachie and Little Ferry.
“It’s one part to the whole constellation of resources that might be available to help victims,” Janet Sharma, a leader in a coalition of organizations developing storm-relief programs, said Saturday of the award. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.”
Sharma said she got word on Friday of the grant for the county’s Long Term Recovery Committee, which is sponsored by her organization, the Hackensack-based Volunteer Center of Bergen County. The grant comes from the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, which is headed by Mary Pat Christie.
The $200,000 award, Sharma said, will help pay employees who will assist storm victims in developing personal recovery plans, pursue insurance claims, seek financial aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and get assistance from other sources.
The money also will help pay for a construction coordinator who will oversee home rebuilding efforts, and for actual nuts-and-bolts construction materials and work that could include rebuilding walls, plumbing and electrical systems, or cleaning up mold.
In addition, a drop-in center will be set up in mid-March at the First Presbyterian Church in Moonachie, where people can get information about relief programs and meet with case workers, she said.
The funds are part of a broader push to secure storm-relief grants from a variety of sources. Among them is Robin Hood, a New York City foundation that organized the 12-12-12 concert at Madison Square Garden and has taken in $67.5 million for Sandy-related aid.
Sharma said that while $289,000 was sought from the New Jersey Relief Fund, she was happy with the grant, especially since publicity surrounding the damage in New Jersey shore communities has dwarfed those of victims elsewhere.
“It’s going to be a multimillion-dollar project” to fully assist storm victims in Bergen County, who need not only home renovation help but food, utility and rent assistance, Sharma said. “But this is a good chunk.”