2013-11-15 / Top Stories

Sandy Conferences Look Back And Ahead

By Miriam Rosenberg

Two conferences in Far Rockaway marked the first anniversary of Sandy one year to the date on October 29th.

At the Church of the Nazarene was the all-day Far Rockaway/NY Rising Conference. It was followed in the evening with Councilman Donovan Richards’ ‘Sandy: One Year Later’ panel discussion at the Far Rockaway Library. Both events drew an array of representatives from city, state and volunteer organizations.

It was the panel discussion that drew a large crowd of residents from throughout the peninsula, many still suffering from the effects of Sandy. Highlighted at the event were some of Rockaway’s local organizations still working to help disaster victims.

Margert Community Corporation has been serving Rockaway since 1980. It is a not-for-profit community based housing organization with financial support from NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

It was one of the first on the ground after Sandy, helping people assess damages and working with those affected by Sandy to help them get the help they needed. One year after the storm Joe Barden, Margert’s executive director, is still urging people to “come to Margert for emergency assessment work as soon as possible.”

The Jewish Community Council is a one-stop place to get help with everything from disaster case management to food stamps. Ocean Bay Community Corporation on Beach 54th Street and Beach Channel Drive is another place to turn to for help.

Dr. Ed Williams is the chair of the Rockaway, Broad Channel Long-Term Recovery Group (RBCLTRG). He gave the most impassioned speech of the evening.

“Let me hear what your problems are,’” said Williams. “We going to help you. That is the mandate of this voluntary organization.”

There are still thousands of people with unmet needs and limited funding to help them. To do it right, Williams said, he “needs the community to speak out about what their needs are.”

The organization meets every other Tuesday at 510 Beach 20th Street. Their next meeting is November 26th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Among others attending the conferences were Senator James Sanders, Jr.; Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder, Josh Lockwood of the Red Cross, Kevin Alexander of RDRC, and Manhattan Borough President and city comptroller-elect Scott Stringer.

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