Rebuilding Together NYC Helps Sandy Victims Still Suffering on Fourth Anniversary of Hurricane
Four years after more than 40 people died and hundreds of homes were destroyed in New York City during Hurricane Sandy some victims are still struggling. Our Bree Driscoll has more on one nonprofit organization working to keep them in their homes.
Gerritsen Beach resident Denise Garrett is still dealing with damage from Hurricane Sandy.
"Every time it rains I just sit here and I say how many buckets is it going to be today," said Sandy victim Denise Garrett.
Garrett's basement filled with eight feet of water during the storm. This door blew off the hinges. She says she hired a contractor right after the storm who ended up doing some substandard work before running off with her money. The house now sits on a slant as it slides off its foundation.
"I still have water that is coming in so I have to constantly have to wet/dry vac the water out of the basement," Garrett said.
Garrett says she did not quality for aid from the state and federal government, or the city's Sandy recovery program "Build it Back." The reason is that she has this home and her mother's in her name.
That's where the non-profit Rebuilding Together NYC stepped in.
"There are a lot of reasons why our government programs aren't serving people so as a non-profit we can come in and fill that gap," said Kimberly George, executive director Rebuilding Together NYC.
Saturday Rebuilding Together organized dozens of volunteers to help repair 5 homes like Garrett's and 2 community centers in the beach neighborhood. They are taking on everything from ripping up flooring to sanding down banisters.
"It is something really special that you are able to just do whatever you can," said volunteer Joe Barzelatto. "Whether that is sanding a banister or putting wood floors down stairs for the people who have been waiting so long and really need it."
All so Garrett and the near 100 other Sandy victims the group has helped can remain in their homes.
"We are extremely grateful that someone has said, finally, we are going to help you," Garrett said.