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Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Release One-Year Update on Hurricane Sandy Relief and Recovery Activities

October 28, 2013

More than $60 Million in Relief Funds Allocated to Address Immediate and Long-Term Restoration Efforts

More than 15,000 Volunteers Engaged, More than 4 Million Meals Served, Academic Support Available to 20,000 Students, More than 1,700 Homes Treated for Mold, and More than 2,900 Homeowners Provided with Counseling

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City today released a one-year update on Hurricane Sandy recovery initiatives supported through public-private partnerships. Nearly 21,000 donors contributed more than $60 million to the Mayor’s Fund for the City’s emergency response needs and long-term restoration efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. City agencies worked closely with the Mayor’s Fund to help address unmet needs and fill gaps not funded by public dollars or programs. As part of these efforts, the housing recovery agencies partnered with the Mayor’s Fund to develop initiatives including a mold treatment program for 2,000 homes, housing counseling assistance for more than 2,900 homeowners, a home repair program for up to 600 homes and loan and grant programs assisting 720 small businesses and 150 nonprofit organizations affected by the storm. The Mayor’s Fund also worked with city agencies and community partners to engage over 15,000 volunteers, invest in restoring our parks and open spaces, and provide millions of meals for New Yorkers with the greatest needs. Additionally, the Mayor’s Fund directed over $6 million of in-kind supplies from generous donors to support victims of Hurricane Sandy. One hundred percent of all donations are being dispersed to support relief efforts and organizations, as the Mayor’s Fund does not retain an administrative fee.

“Thousands of New Yorkers are back in their homes, libraries have reopened, small businesses have recovered, and non-profit organizations have continued to serve their communities, all thanks in part to the generous donations from thousands of individuals and businesses who stepped up to help our City recover,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our work is not yet over, but by making targeted investments that connected city agencies and local organizations, the Mayor’s Fund has made a major difference in the lives of many New Yorkers - and set a new standard for how cities can leverage private funds to address critical public needs.”

“We are grateful to all of our partners and for the enduring commitment supporters have shown toward the rebuilding and long-term livelihood of New York City,” said Megan Sheekey, President of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “This unified spirit and civic-mindedness has amplified our city’s recovery progress and allowed us to continue addressing restoration needs and ongoing resiliency.”

“Bringing together resources from the public and private sectors has consistently allowed us to meet shared goals and strengthen our city, but proved especially invaluable when working to support hurricane-impacted communities,” said Rob Speyer, Chair of the Mayor’s Fund Board of Advisors. “The model built through the Mayor’s Fund and its trusted network of partners delivered essential results for disaster response and recovery, and will bolster preparedness for years to come.”

Mold Treatment Program

Mold and water damage have presented a major challenge to structures in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. In partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation and American Red Cross, the Mayor’s Fund launched a program working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to treat mold in homes in the hardest hit areas at no cost. This $15 million coordinated effort is managed by Neighborhood Revitalization NYC (an affiliate of Local Initiatives Support Corporation) to help provide mold treatment working with skilled contractors. Free awareness and safe practice trainings regarding mold treatment were also launched by the Mayor’s Fund with mold supply kits distributed at no cost.

• Over 1,700 homes have been treated for mold, and the program is committed to treating at least 2,000 homes.

• 63 community trainings were facilitated reaching 1,467 participants and distributing 3,230 free mold kits.

“Robin Hood and the Bloomberg Administration have participated in dozens of public-private partnerships over the past 11 years that have helped hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in the areas of education, healthcare, housing, employment and food,” said David Saltzman, Executive Director of Robin Hood. “In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we came together again to help homeowners in the hardest hit areas remove dangerous mold from their houses and to provide support for much needed home repairs and rebuilding. We’re thrilled that these efforts have enabled more than 1,700 families – and counting – restore the safety and comfort of their homes.”

“Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York have been tireless in supporting all aspects of Superstorm Sandy response and recovery efforts,” said Josh Lockwood, Regional Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross. “The American Red Cross deeply appreciates the spirit of collaboration that this administration has demonstrated in tackling an array of complex challenges, including mass feeding, bulk distribution of supplies, home repair and rebuilding, and mental health support. As the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, we are working each and every day with partners in City government as our neighbors and our neighborhoods in New York City continue along a path to recovery. While much work remains, we remain impressed and grateful for the past, present and future efforts of our City partners.”

“Through LISC’s partnership with the City and our funders, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the American Red Cross and the Robin Hood Foundation, we are successfully helping New Yorkers most impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Denise Scott, Managing Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation NYC. “To date with the mold program, the invaluable outreach assistance by the City has enabled us to treat mold in over 1,700 homes in the most devastated communities. Our partnership with the City is a model for disaster response moving forward.”

Home Repairs and Rebuilding

In response to the continuing need to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the Mayor’s Fund, with support from the American Red Cross and the Robin Hood Foundation, created a home repairs program in coordination with the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and managed by Neighborhood Revitalization NYC to address unmet needs for non-structurally damaged properties. The repair program, utilizing the skills of both contractors and nonprofit organizations, will address minor to moderate repairs for up to 600 homes that may not qualify for the city’s Build It Back program.

• The Mayor’s Fund has committed over $10 million to this program with additional support from the American Red Cross and the Robin Hood Foundation.

In addition, working closely with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and a consortium of 16 foundations and financial institutions known as the NYC Housing and Neighborhood Recovery Donors Collaborative, $3.2 million in private funding has been allocated to support a range of programs to accelerate the deployment of recovery initiatives for low- and moderate-income residents, build social capital amongst high risk communities and vulnerable populations and foster best practices in climate resiliency.

“The City’s philanthropic community recognized the key role we could play to help our most vulnerable neighborhoods to build back from the disaster and to prepare for possible future crises,” said Gary Hattem, President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “The collective response from our 16 bank and foundation donors is evidence of the remarkable level of trust, good will and working relationships, amongst diverse stakeholders, and of our City’s enduring resilience.”

Housing Advocacy and Legal Assistance

Many homeowners living in neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy need sound guidance on how to rebuild both their homes and their finances as they face unprecedented loss and uncertainty. Grants totaling $2.2 million were provided to the Center for New York City Neighborhoods and Local Initiatives Support Corporation to create a network of housing outreach, counseling, rehab, and legal service providers to give homeowners in affected neighborhoods access to expert help navigating the complex rebuilding and recovery process to give homeowners access to expert help navigating the rebuilding and recovery process.

• More than 2,900 homeowners received counseling and support.

“The funding from the Mayor’s Fund was transformative for us,” said Christie Peale, Executive Director of the Center for New York City Neighborhoods. “Their unprecedented commitment to supporting homeowners allowed the Center to rapidly deploy housing counseling and legal services at scale across impacted neighborhoods. We were able to give our network partners 12-month grants to provide long-term assistance to homeowners, and we would not have been able to give those kinds of contracts and have that level of reach without this partnership.”

Loans and Grants for Non-Profits and Small Businesses

The Mayor’s Fund brought together philanthropic partners to launch a Nonprofit Recovery Loan and Grant Program administered by the Fund for the City of New York as well as two Small Business Grant Programs through the New York Business Development Corporation and the New York Business Assistance Corporation.

• Over $24 million was distributed to nonprofits impacted by Sandy with a $10 million investment from the Mayor’s Fund and nearly $6 million was distributed to small businesses.

• More than 720 small businesses and 150 nonprofit organizations have been helped by these loans and grants.

“Since Hurricane Sandy, the Mayor’s Fund has supported programs that have helped businesses and neighborhoods impacted by Sandy come back stronger than ever through grants, storefront improvements, and much more,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “We are seeing a real impact in neighborhoods since the storm, and I thank the Mayor’s Fund for all of their support.”

“The Mayor’s Fund to Advance the City of New York provided timely and necessary funding to allow small businesses to restore operations through grants to replace damaged inventory, supplies and/or equipment,” Patrick J. MacKrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Business Development Corporation. “NYBDC was honored to participate in the distribution of the monies. Together we made an incredible and lasting difference for more than 500 businesses and had the privilege of serving our fellow New Yorkers in need.”

“Supporting New York’s nonprofits affected by Sandy has a direct impact on restoring the communities in which they work and serve,” said Fund for the City of New York President Mary McCormick. “By joining the Bloomberg Administration and philanthropic partners to make critical loans and grants available, we have been pleased to help these organizations and our residents that rely on them most.”

Immigrant Outreach

New York City’s immigrant communities in hurricane-affected areas are faced with a unique set of challenges. The Mayor’s Fund, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, sponsored teams of multilingual community outreach workers to survey immigrant households about their needs, connect them with services for which they were eligible, and provide information on the City’s plans for long-term disaster case management.

• 6,871 households were surveyed and assisted through outreach efforts, including more than 1,200 households that were notified of their eligibility to apply for assistance from FEMA. New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) was also engaged to provide free legal assistance to surveyed households and has helped open more than 200 legal matters.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Immigrant New Yorkers faced unique barriers to access that made them especially vulnerable,” said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Commissioner Fatima Shama. “Our partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City was critical to our ability to engage and support immigrant communities, strengthen our network of community partners, and provide key resources where they were needed the most.”

“The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies valued our collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in a targeted response to reach out to immigrant New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. “Because of the skills and expertise of our community partners, our network effectively provided critical services to immigrants and their families during this time of need. Our strategic partnership helped to ensure that New Yorkers could receive the resources necessary for putting their lives back together.”

“NYLAG is grateful to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City for recognizing a need and taking swift action,” said Yisroel Schulman, New York Legal Assistance Group, President and Attorney-in-Charge. “Immigrant families suffering the effects of Sandy were falling through the cracks. Our grant from the Mayor’s Fund is a remarkable example of what can be accomplished through strategic public-private partnerships. Working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and other community agencies on the ground, we have been able to provide targeted outreach and services to hundreds of vulnerable immigrants, ensuring that they understand their rights and can access all available legal relief.”

Volunteer Efforts

Volunteer efforts led by NYC Service have served both immediate relief and ongoing recovery efforts. The Mayor’s Fund has provided the direct purchase of supplies and other needs for NYC Services’ efforts in the weeks following the storm, and also supported weekend Sandy Service projects in coordination with City agencies throughout the summer and fall.

• Engaged 15,448 volunteers across 487 service projects.

• Cleared 23,485 bags of debris and leaves.

• Painted 15,293 square feet of wall.

• 60 Parks projects to cleanup, beautify and plant 1,400 trees in at least 30 affected parks

• NYC Service supported organizations such as New York Cares, Citizens Committee, Alliance for Coney Island, Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service, GrowNYC, ShoreSoup Project, New York Says Thank You, and Tunnel to Towers to rebuilding communities that were hard hit with volunteers and funds.

“From cleaning parks and beaches, to beautifying schools and community centers to distributing food and supplies, or helping to muck out impacted homes, individual and corporate volunteers have come together to play an essential role in helping New York City come back from Hurricane Sandy’s devastation,” said Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford. “Thanks to our work with the Mayor’s Fund, City agencies, and community partners, we were able to engage thousands of volunteers to help maximize the productivity and efficiency of our citywide recovery efforts.”

Public Education

As a result of the hurricane, thousands of students were displaced or relocated from their schools. In addition, many were cut off from access to a computer or the internet, resulting in significant unanticipated learning gaps. The Mayor’s Fund worked with the Department of Education and the Fund for Public Schools to address student needs.

• Expanded counseling programs, mentoring, academic support and afterschool services available for over 20,000 students in 39 public schools.

“Through these grants we were able to provide mentoring, tutoring and extended after school hours for tens of thousands of students who were hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “This made it possible for students to catch up on the valuable classroom time that was missed. I want to thank everyone who donated their time and money to help our students during what was a very difficult time.”

Youth Development & Employment

The Mayor’s Fund has supported several programs that contributed to recovery work while simultaneously providing job opportunities for youth or low-income New Yorkers. These efforts include YouthWRAP, engaging probation-involved adolescents in partnership with the Department of Probation, Sandy-related placements for the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) participants in partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development, and a construction jobs program through the Center for Economic Opportunity. To date, these programs have connected 1,719 New Yorkers to work placements, and YouthWRAP and the construction jobs programs continue this fall.

• YouthWRAP: enrolled 400 young probation clients who worked 45,000 hours at 20 worksites.

• Sandy SYEP: 1,046 youth worked 115,755 hours at 163 worksites.

• Construction Jobs: enrolled 273 individuals, more than 60% of whom have completed industry-recognized training and certification, providing credentials for additional job placements.

“Since launching NYC YouthWRAP in January, we’ve connected some 400 young probation clients to more than 30 Sandy projects throughout the city, and they've logged more than 45,000 hours of service,” said NYC Department of Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi. “But the impact of this project cannot be captured by numbers alone. Every week, we hear stories about how NYC YouthWRAP is not only changing the way New Yorkers see young people on probation, it’s changing the way these young people see themselves, a transformation that is essential to reducing recidivism and making our city even safer.”

“Through generous support from the Mayor’s Fund, DYCD’s Summer Youth Employment Program provided summer jobs for a thousand New York City young people,” said DYCD Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. “From Broad Channel and Coney Island to Sea Gate and the Staten Island South Shore, dedicated SYEP participants collected more than 13,000 pounds of debris from waterfronts and parks, distributed free healthy meals in the Rockaways, and became ambassadors to our communities by educating residents about emergency preparedness and helping the City get back on its feet.”

Parks and Open Spaces

The City’s natural areas experienced some of the greatest storm damage, including devastated plant life, eroded landscapes, and washed-away infrastructure. In partnership with the Department of Parks & Recreation and NYCHA, private dollars from the Mayor’s Fund are being leveraged to support restoration, preservation, and critical resiliency work through the following programs:

• NYC Parks Natural Areas Conservancy: assessing, evaluating, and restoring wetlands and the production of native plants for storm-damaged areas, including 24 wetland and 122 forest sites assessed to date.

• NYC Parks Conservation Corps: commenced in September 2013, training a diverse group of 30 young adults are focusing on Sandy restoration efforts, supporting the care and maintenance of the City’s trees, and overseeing projects related to resiliency of natural areas.

• NYCHA Open Spaces: working with NYRP, the project will re-plant trees and restore open spaces on NYCHA properties damaged by the storm. The effort has completed the first phase of work, evaluating and scoping possible sites, selection of actual planting sites, and development of tree planting plans. 140 trees were recently planted on in five affected NYCHA sites.

“NYC Parks has been pleased to partner with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to ensure a greener and more resilient city,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “From the creation of the Natural Areas Conservancy and the NYC Parks Fellowship and Conservation Corps program, to the facilitation of volunteer projects with NYC Service and tree planting and restoration projects with MillionTreesNYC and the New York Restoration Project, this partnership is helping develop the next generation of park stewards while sustaining our City’s investment in its parks and natural areas.”

“The New York City Housing Authority greatly appreciates the contributions it received from private partners who assisted in returning our public housing families to stability following the devastating impact of Sandy,” said NYCHA Chairman John Rhea. “The various donations of furniture, food and household materials gave invaluable stability to the City’s most vulnerable adults and children.”

“New York Restoration Project’s longtime partnership with the Mayor’s Fund enabled us to take quick action in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and help replant trees and restore NYCHA campuses damaged by the storm,” said Amy Freitag, NYRP’s Executive Director. “Our shared legacy will be cleaner air and water, and healthier, happier communities.”

Public Libraries

All three City library systems were impacted by the hurricane, including hundreds of thousands of lost books, destroyed critical equipment and several facilities that sustained major physical damage. The Mayor’s Fund provided grants totaling $550,000 across the Brooklyn, Queens, and New York Public Libraries, including Staten Island branches.

• More than 83,435 books have been repaired or replaced through this partnership.

“The importance of public libraries in New York City was made very clear after Sandy, when thousands of residents packed local branches in search of power, internet access, information, and community support,” Dr. Anthony W. Marx, President and CEO of the New York Public Library. “For months after Sandy, New Yorkers who were impacted by the storm used the Library’s wealth of resources to help them get back on their feet. A year later, we are proud of the deep connection that the Library has with the city’s people and neighborhoods, and that our branches continue to make New York City’s communities stronger. We are also deeply grateful to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City for key financial support that allowed us to restore collections lost or damaged by Sandy in Staten Island, and continue our mission to enrich the communities we serve.”

“Thanks to generous public and private support, all six of BPL’s Hurricane-impacted libraries are fully restored and open to the public” said Linda Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “The partnership with the Mayor’s Fund allowed us to replace our collections quickly and get back to the ever important business of providing Brooklyn's communities with a safe place to learn, to work, to access limitless information and to come together in good and difficult times alike.”

Emergency Food

The Mayor’s Fund launched multiple partnerships to coordinate free hot food in hurricane-affected communities. An emergency food grant program was established to support the citywide emergency food network that served community needs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. With funding from the Mayor’s Fund, grants were issued to the citywide emergency food network of soup kitchens and food pantries that supported the post-Sandy distribution of thousands of meals throughout the hardest hit communities, as well as helping with the rebuilding and improved resiliency of emergency food providers working in Sandy-affected areas.

• $265,000 grant to CityHarvest and $1.5 million to Food Bank for New York helped to provide approximately 4 million meals serving 450,000 people over two months.

“Superstorm Sandy has been devastating to our neighbors in need. In the past year we have seen how it displaced families and highlighted the reach and severity of poverty,” said Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “Without the support received from the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, Food Bank and our citywide network of member charities would not have been able to respond as we have: 12 million meals, $26 million in tax refunds and ongoing assistance in accessing vital services.”

“Thanks to the collaboration with the Mayor’s Fund and many other partners, City Harvest worked to meet the immediate need for emergency food following Hurricane Sandy – we were able to deliver more than 7 million pounds of food in direct response to the storm,” said Jilly Stephens, Executive Director of City Harvest. “At the same time, there remains an underlying poverty issue in New York, and we appreciate the opportunity to continue working with the city to address the needs of our residents. Together, we are working hard to develop a groundwork that will strengthen the emergency food network in the long-term.”

• More than 333,000 hot meals, including Thanksgiving and New Year’s meals, were distributed thought creative partnerships. A partnership with the NY Food Truck Association resulted in 278,000 meals served, with as many as 32 trucks dispatched, in coordination with the City, to strategic locations on any given day.

“Our partnership with the Mayor’s Fund took shape very quickly and it allowed us to expand efforts immediately with coordinated logistics.” said David Weber, President of the New York Food Truck Association. “We were able to integrate with the City’s emergency response effort so that we could provide hot meals when and where people needed them most.”

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that facilitates innovative public-private partnerships for the City of New York. More information on hurricane sandy recovery support and other programs is available at its website

Contact: Marc La Vorgna/ Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958