You are sitting down for dinner with your family when you are stopped by the horrifying sight of water rising toward your apartment by the East River. It's already difficult to communicate feelings of fear, anxiety and sadness - especially if what there is to lose is everything you have. That is the case for many of the families we work with on the Lower East Side who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. During the storm our staff and volunteers worked hard to provide immediate support for families. We delivered over 20,000 meals to homebound seniors, supplied financial aid to those who lost wages or belongings, and provided crucial assistance helping families with multiple needs by connecting them to the resources and services they required.
But our work is far from over.
In the days, weeks, and months after the storm, University Settlement will continue to support families and individuals impacted by the storm. We are one of only 18 citywide organizations chosen to be a provider agency for Project HOPE, a Crisis Counseling Program that provides free, confidential support for those still feeling the effects of the storm. Together Project HOPE and University Settlement have trained and placed 23 full-time crisis counselors and four team coordinators to work in lower Manhattan communities.
To date, these counselors have met with more than 4,000 individuals and families and conducted over 30 educational events reaching over 5,500 people.
Equipped with materials translated into Spanish and Chinese, our multi-lingual counselors have been able to provide help beyond our University Settlement community. And working in partnership with other lower Manhattan volunteers and providers means we are effectively helping downtown Manhattan build resiliency.
To reach Project HOPE, call (212) 453-4535.
During times of distress, the City that prides itself on being fiercely independent takes care of each other, it is part of who we are. You can support US as we help New Yorkers rebuild after the storm by donating online today!