A few weeks back, we blogged about some members of the Visible Good team traveling to New York to survey the damage from Sandy and to see if/how we could help. At the time, we all commented on the scarcity of tents, trailers and frankly any type of temporary shelter at all. More than one month after Sandy hit, many people are still seeking some kind of shelter. Despite a clear and present need, temporary shelters have not arrived there, citing a lack of space. The Huffington Post and The Brooklyn Daily Eagle published articles focusing attention on the lack of trailers or other temporary shelters in this heavily damaged section of New York. There are mobile help centers and rent subsidies, but there are no apartments available because so many buildings have been ruined.
Due to lack of options, some folks have chosen to stay inside their storm-gutted homes, rather than move away. The long term consequences of living in a flooded structure can be catastrophic for anyone, including any emergency personnel that may have to enter to help. With winter coming on, these water logged shells, with no power or heat become more like moldy old refrigerators than homes. We hope Federal, State and local officials can see a way clear of this mess and begin to roll in with shelters so that affected residents can safely get back to their neighborhoods, repair their homes and get on with their lives.