Hurricane Sandy could not stop BronxWorks

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

We hope all of our friends and supporters are well following Hurricane Sandy!

As you know, BronxWorks’ homeless services are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter what.  We wanted to tell you about our dedicated case managers, security, and maintenance staff who got us through this crisis.  Many of them had to work extra shifts with little opportunity to rest.  With public transportation out, there was a lot of cooperation with carpooling and walking through wind and rain to make sure everyone got to where they needed to be.

Our Homeless Outreach Team is responsible for canvassing the entire borough.  In preparation for Sandy over the weekend, we gassed up all our vehicles, engaged our clients on the street, and checked locations around the shoreline.  On Monday and Tuesday, our entire staff braved the harsh conditions, looking for all of our clients and checking homeless encampments.  All the while, HOT continued managing the medications of homeless clients who needed daily dosages.

Our Living Room homeless drop-in center was filled to capacity as it kept taking in anyone needing shelter (including one person who wasn’t homeless but found himself stranded).  The Homeless Outreach Team and NYPD continued to bring in homeless individuals they found on the streets and in the subways.  We had to purchase a lot of extra food to feed everyone, but we never lost power or had any issues with the building.  Despite the overcrowding, our guests showed camaraderie and helped each other through the ordeal.

BronxWorks’ three homeless family residences house a total of 276 families.  We counseled the residents in advance about how to prepare for the hurricane.  Despite the difficulty of traveling during the storm, our shelters were always fully staffed and operations were uninterrupted.

The Brook is Common Ground’s supportive housing facility where BronxWorks provides social services.  Many of the residents need medication monitoring and other assistance daily, regardless of the extreme weather.  Our staff were always on hand to make sure our medically vulnerable clients had the supplies and food they needed to get through the storm.

We are grateful for their stamina and grace during these very difficult times!

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