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Six Months After Sandy: Coney Island Public Housing Still Dependent On Generators, Donations

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TWC News: Six Months After Sandy: Coney Island Public Housing Still Dependent On Generators, Donations
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Public housing was particularly affected during Hurricane Sandy, as many had no power, no elevators and spoiled food. Generators were brought in to help, but almost six months later in Coney Island, the situation still hasn't improved all that much. Brooklyn borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

For weeks after Hurricane Sandy, it was the National Guard handing out food, water and other supplies to Coney Island residents.

Nowadays, it's Deborah Carter and her team of volunteers at the Gravesend Houses on Neptune Avenue.

"We have been the forgotten people since Sandy and it's been a struggle. It's been a hard struggle," Carter said.

Twice a week, Carter gives out food at the housing complex and the line wraps around the corner. She says the food distribution started after Sandy but the need has never been greater.

"The lines are getting bigger. We need more food, we need more help. We need assistance here," Carter said.

"In this situation, this hurricane come. ain't nobody know how it was going to affect anybody," said volunteer Harry Faulkner. "Look at Sea Gate, it's still messed up. These people still need help out here."

The volunteers say the only consistent help they have received is from a nearby church where they pick up supplies.

"We try to find food. We try to cook food. We sometimes take it out of our pockets," Carter said.

Looking around the neighborhood, things are clearly not back to normal. Many of the housing projects are still running on generators.

The New York City Housing Authority says a dozen apartments at the Gravesend Houses still need to be repaired from Sandy water damage. A second cleaning of 150 apartments is currently underway.

"We're still feeling the effect of Sandy and what took place out here," one resident said.

With the Brooklyn Public Library still out, the bookmobile comes to the neighborhood three times a week. The branch is not expected to open until the fall, almost a year after the hurricane.

"We're just trying to hang in there and take one day at a time and try to survive," a local said.

Residents said all donations are still needed.

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