Coney Island Groups Join Forces Under Small Roof As Sandy Recovery Continues
As the struggle to rebound from Hurricane Sandy continues, a number of groups in Coney Island are joining forces, coming together under one very small roof. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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It's a standout in Coney Island not only for its purple gates, but also for its service to needy families.
The 26-year-old Salt and Sea Mission is mainly a food pantry. After Hurricane Sandy brought five feet of water into the building ruining all the refrigeration, it was in need of help.
That help came in the form of a grant.
"Two-thousand five-hundred dollars," said Debbe Santiago, executive director of the Salt and Sea Mission. "What it's going to do is buy very good fresh produce."
The grant came from Coney Recovers, an initiative started after Hurricane Sandy by the Alliance for Coney Island. It gave out money to 11 groups.
"We were basically asking the organizations to give us information as to what the mission of the organization was, what they did for the people in Coney Island and what they wanted to do with the funds," said Johanna Zaki with the Alliance for Coney Island. "So we opened it up to not-for-profit and faith-based organizations."
The Alliance is made up of businesses and groups in the area to help improve and promote Coney Island. When its office was flooded by Hurricane Sandy, it moved to a trailer on Surf Avenue and West 17th Street. Inside the 60 by 20-foot trailer are more organizations that were displaced, such as the Astella Development Corporation, a nonprofit housing group.
"Our office was totally destroyed," said Judi Orlando, executive director of the Astella Development Corporation. "All the computers. All our desks were overthrown. All our file cabinets. All our documents. Everything was totally destroyed."
The trailer was donated by the Brooklyn Recovery Fund and sits on city-owned land. The groups that share it said Hurricane Sandy helped bring them together.
"One thing that's really great that came out of it is that the amusement area, which is a seasonal community, and the year-round community have really united and joined to make it one community and one big effort to improve both, because we know we work hand in hand," Orlando said.
The community groups said that while the trailer is temporary, their commitment to rebuild is permanent.