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City Restoration Centers Offer Various Ways To Help Sandy Victims

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A local church has been converted into one of the city's many restoration centers, providing aide for those still suffering from Sandy. NY1's Erin Clarke has more.

Kathleen Collins was without electricity for 11 days because of Sandy. It's been particularly nerve-wracking for her because Collins has pulmonary fibrosis and needs a constant supply of oxygen.

"It was very difficult," Collins said. "I did not get help from Con Edison. They didn't make it a priority for disabled people."

Relatives in Maryland were able to get Collins a generator but fueling it became difficult during the gas crisis.

Though she wasn't flooded like many, Sandy still cost Collins a lot. A friend suggested she ask about help from the federal government.

"Maybe FEMA could help me get reimbursed for the generator and all the expenses that went with it," Collins said.

Collins didn't have to travel far to find FEMA representatives. They were at a City Restoration Center set up at her local church, Saint Frances de Chantal in Throgs Neck.

"People were affected everywhere in New York City," said Stephanie Feinberg, the manager at the restoration site. "So we want individuals to have an opportunity to come here and seek out assistance that they may need."

The restoration centers are a one stop shop offering services from many different agencies.

But they also have something that many New Yorkers needed even before Sandy hit.

Frank McCummings, who is currently unemployed, came to the centers looks for work.

FEMA is hiring in positions ranging from community relations specialist to administrative assistant.

"This is the perfect opportunity for a lot of people like myself," McCummings said.

It's a way to speed up the recovery process and get unemployed New Yorkers back into the workforce.

The Throgs Neck Restoration Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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