Staten Island, New York Still Struggling Six Months After Hurricane Sandy

Category: World / May 02, 2013 4:39PM EDT
It has been six months since Hurricane Sandy slammed the United States’ East Coast. And New York’s Staten Island, one of the hardest hit areas, is still struggling to resettle. We visited volunteer groups, the Yellow Team and the movement church, formerly known as the Brown Cross, to see where they are in terms of progress. The Yellow Team, like many other volunteer groups, jumped into action immediately following the super storm. Dedicated to cleaning and re-building, the volunteer group is comprised of community members who have become a family dedicated to rebuilding their homes. We spoke to Farid Kader, who described the ongoing battles facing the group every day, citing a lack of funds being a paramount concern. He also talked about mold becoming a huge problem for those rebuilding, as it could potentially affect the health of the workers and volunteers. For contractors like Michael Gonzalez, work has been plentiful in the hard hit areas of Staten Island. But funding has been slow to come in, making attaining professional assistance difficult. Michael’s team alone has worked on two houses in the past six months, while many people are left waiting. The Brown Cross was started by a group of off-duty police officers, fire fighters and community members post storm. The group is now led by Pastor Steven Martino of The Movement Church. Humble about the work he has done, Steven works six days a week, and, according to some, has become somewhat of a local hero. He’s the kind of man, Martino said describing himself, who “ wouldn't ask anyone to do anything he wouldn't himself.” Like the Yellow Team, The Movement Church needs financial assistance, and the continued help of the volunteers. The progress of rebuilding and recovering is far from over, but the people of Staten Island stand strong in their mission to rebuild their community. While other Staten Island residents live in hotel rooms, waiting for a return home, or for funds that may never appear, the volunteers are continuing the fight to restore the city back to its citizens, despite the possibility that things will never be the same again.