More than 50,000 city families needed housing assistance from FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including hundreds who are still displaced or faced with endless repairs. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report from Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn.
Volunteers in Gerritsen Beach continue cutting, drilling and painting, fixing the damage left by Hurricane Sandy.
On a recent visit, retired Jersey City Fire Captain Tom Murphy was working to move the owner of one house back in.
"There's a lot of people that are still lost, they don't know which way to go, they're stressed out they need some type of direction. And here is a perfect example," Murphy said.
The home's owner, Linda Vergara, still lives in a rental. In December, she was struggling with sickness brought on by the storm including mold from her house growing behind her eyes.
"This is going to be years before you're able to walk in the house without crying every day," Vergara said back in December.
A year after the storm she's still ill and the stress of talking on TV again overwhelmed her.
Doctors recommended against it.
Jameson Wells of the nonprofit Gerritsen Beach Cares says storm related health issues across the neighborhood persist. Wells says 90 percent of the homes he's seen had mold and one family per week needs help killing it as it grows back.
"Breathing problems down here are huge," he said.
Wells estimates at least 85 of the 1,700 homes in this working class neighborhood are still uninhabitable.
"This is not normal. I don't know when normal's gonna come," said Linda McCandless, a struggling homeowner.
McCandless stays on the second floor of her home while she waits for the first floor's repair. A widow, she's been getting help from volunteers as well.
"They were able to help us when we didn't know where to turn," she said.
Tom Murphy has worked on her house too as well as dozens of others. He actually slept in a church and a trailer for much of the first three months after Sandy, continuing now to volunteer hundreds of hours per month.
"I never looked at it as hours but I know when sleep I sleep pretty good," Murphy said.
Murphy is volunteering on his own after working with Heart 911 and Tunnel to Towers.
There are still plenty of opportunities.
For more information on how to help, call 311.