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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Event

Sandy Response Snapshot

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported how victims of Superstorm Sandy are in serious need of legal services and how multi-faceted service programs like MRNY’s are so important for immigrants and other vulnerable populations with limited access to aid.

Your donations have helped expand not only legal services, but also our workforce development program and policy advocacy in order to make a real impact for affected communities in Staten Island, Long Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. Click here to meet our new Sandy Response Team:

Sandy Relief Snapshot:

In the last three months, we’ve helped 328 families to access FEMA aid, disaster unemployment assistance and emergency food stamps; negotiated insurance claims; represented families in housing court, and provided workers with job skills trainings and access to new employment opportunities. We’ve held 26 legal clinics and continued our door-to-door canvass, reaching more than 2,000 people in order to both connect them to aid and to monitor the status of government relief efforts.

Access for immigrantsEqual Access: After MRNY released our report showing a lack of access to aid for immigrant New Yorkers, the City of New York, in consultation with MRNY staff, created a special emergency outreach initiative to better serve immigrant communities and connect them to aid.


Housing cleanupHousing: We’re stopping evictions, ensuring that landlords make repairs, collecting illegally withheld rent deposits, and helping displaced families get back on their feet. In Long Island, where transportation is a tremendous obstacle to accessing help, our attorneys have conducted home visits to ensure elderly hurricane victims are not left behind. We are also working with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Office of Housing Recovery to design an unprecedented long-term housing plan for displaced immigrants who are ineligible for FEMA aid.

OSHA trainingHealth: We are protecting the safety and health of Sandy victims in their homes and workplaces. We won establishment of a City mold remediation program to address the widespread respiratory threat from mold. Now, we’re working to ensure the program is expanded and fully implemented to meets the needs of the thousands whose homes and businesses have been plagued by mold. We’ve partnered with safety and health inspectors to train and provide cleanup workers with personal protective equipment and OSHA safety training certification.

Day laborer outreachEmployment: Our workforce team is training and placing community members in jobs to help in the clean-up and rebuilding, and providing assistance to those who lost work due to Sandy. Meanwhile, our expert attorneys are educating workers about their rights, helping them to obtain safe and fair employment. We’re also teaming up with the Laborers Local 78 union and members of the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding to launch an innovative initiative to clean up thousands of mold-infested homes and place Sandy-impacted workers in union jobs as mold remediators.

Our bilingual Sandy relief attorneys and workforce specialists are here to take your call and assist in these areas. Click here to contact one of our Sandy Response Team and get help now.

We want to thank the many community, faith, labor, and disaster relief organizations we’re partnering with to implement these programs, and we thank you, as a supporter, for making this possible.

More updates coming soon!

Thank you to our partners for making our Sandy Response Initiative possible:

AARP Foundation, Alliance for a Just Society, Cricket Island Foundation, Eileen Fisher, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, EILEEN FISHER, Ford Foundation, Freddie Mac Foundation, Edward W. Hazen Foundation, JPB Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, members, New York Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, North Star Fund, Marty Tomberg Charitable Fund, Robin Hood Foundation, Surdna Foundation and hundreds of individual MRNY donors!