Morristown, NJ – With an overwhelming response from the non-profit community to its online application, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund’s Board of Directors voted to double its grant cycle allotment to $10 million on March 21st. On Tuesday, the Grants Committee approved 15 grants totaling over $3.7 million. The grants announced today and listed below fulfill a variety of long-term recovery needs primarily supporting housing assistance, and financial and legal counseling. The Grants Committee is scheduled to meet again in two weeks, and thereafter as needed, to approve further grant funding requests for the remaining $6.3 million of this grant cycle. Recipients were notified yesterday of the grant awards.
“We are very excited today to announce 15 more grants to aid in the recovery effort in New Jersey. These grants focus on housing assistance, reconstruction, mold remediation, and important financial and legal counseling services, among others,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Chair of the Fund. “It’s an honor to partner with these wonderful organizations that are on the ground providing services for Sandy victims. This support is only made possible by the generosity of tens of thousands of individual and corporate donors who answered the call to help total strangers in need. We’ll have additional grant awards soon and look forward to continuing to be an ongoing resource over the long term for New Jersey’s recovery effort.”
The grant recipients announced today are the first of many during the current cycle, with a large number of applications still under review by staff encompassing the four priority areas of housing, social services, financial and legal counseling, and economic development. As a result, the Grants Committee will approve further grants to fulfill the $10 million cycle commitment on an ongoing basis as those applications are finalized over the next 2-4 weeks. First announced on February 11th, the current grant request drew 138 applications by the March 15th deadline. Eligibility requirements are accessible on the Fund’s website at www.sandynjrelieffund.org.
“Our team is beaming with today’s $714,000 grant announcement, which will help renovate and rebuild 20 homes in Belmar, Neptune and Manasquan for low and middle income families and expand our staff to support the completion of over 100 home renovation projects in the next year,” said Maureen Mulligan, Executive Director of Coastal Habitat for Humanity. “This project will help put displaced residents back in safe homes. We are excited to get to work.”
“Insurance payouts and potentially six figure checks in federal aid to help rebuild homes in the coming weeks mean homeowners will have major financial choices to make. The sizable grant awarded to our organization comes at exactly the right time and will support homeowners and businesses on the front end to foster good decision making and planning, all of which will have a positive impact on their own lives and the communities in which they live,” said Fred Smith of Operation Hope, which has assisted 300,000 people covering 33 disasters since 2001. “Operation Hope will help Sandy victims navigate the enormous paperwork challenges with regard to insurance and federal funding, and make sure they understand how to properly apply those significant dollars in a way that allows families to rebuild and move forward with their lives.”
“Those with disabilities have been historically under served in times of disaster, and could be permanently forced out of their homes without proper access, particularly if homes are raised based on new building guidelines. For those who are forced out, finding accessible, affordable housing can be an even greater challenge,” said Paul Timmons, Chair of Portlight Strategies, Inc., which received a $250,000 grant. “This funding is an enormous gift which will help construct wheelchair ramps, vertical lifts and replace medical equipment so those with disabilities can remain independent and stay in their homes.”
To date, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund has supported six county based Long Term Recovery Committees with grants totaling $1 million, which were awarded on February 28th. After a major disaster like Hurricane Sandy, FEMA urges the creation of these non-profit organizations to coordinate, collaborate and manage the recovery effort among community leaders long after immediate relief organizations move on from the area. Most of the recipients receiving funding from today’s grant awards are working closely with their county’s Long Term Recovery group.
Those interested in donating to support the continued efforts of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund can do so immediately online at www.SandyNJReliefFund.org, by texting SANDY to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation (standard text and date rates may apply), or by mailing a check via US mail to PO Box 95, Mendham NJ 07945.
April 2nd HSNJRF Grant Awards
Atlantic City Long Term Recovery Group – $100,000
Serving Atlantic County
Description: Build Long Term Recovery Group capacity to address unmet community needs.
Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation | Hurricane Sandy Initiative – $150,000
Serving Hudson County
Description: Rental assistance supporting 65 families/individuals, home repairs for 10 families/individuals, and assist seniors with clean-up of damaged belongings.
Coastal Habitat for Humanity | HSNJR Fund-Community Restoration Initiative -$714,000
Serving Monmouth County
Description: Provide funding for home rebuild and repairs for 20 homes in Neptune, Belmar and Manasquan, and increased staff capacity to support 100 home renovation projects in the next 12 months.
Family Promise of Monmouth County | New Beginnings Program – $50,000
Serving Monmouth County
Description: Assist displaced families locate affordable housing, provide security deposits and case work to connect with other community resources.
Habitat for Humanity Hudson County | Habitat Helping Hands -$94,800
Serving Hudson County
Description: Staff and materials to provide 8 home repairs over a 3 month period for low-income individuals.
Legal Services of New Jersey | Hurricane Sandy Survivors Legal Counseling and Related Services Project – $450,000
Description: Providing free legal assistance to storm victims as they navigate federal aid, landlord-tenant issues, rebuilding issues, insurance disputes, and more. Funding will also support 3 social workers to monitor statewide hotline.
Newark Emergency Services for Families Inc | Hurricane Sandy Housing Assistance Program – $10,000
Serving Essex County
Description: Provide rent, household budgeting and security assistance to low income families affected by Sandy
Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity | Hurricane Sandy Rebuild – $400,000
Serving Ocean County
Description: Provide funding for staff, materials and mold remediation to rebuild 18 inhabitable homes over the next 9 months.
Operation Hope, Inc. | Project Restore HOPE – Hurricane Sandy – $600,000
Financial Counseling Services
Serving Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Union, Hudson and Essex Counties
Description: Providing assistance to victims in applying for federal disaster home rebuilding aid, and offering individuals the financial guidance in appropriating those funds. Funding will also support 4 office locations and provide financial and economic recovery services to estimated 1,895 individuals and 775 small businesses.
Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church | Volunteer Village – $31,300
Serving Monmouth and Ocean Counties
Description: Improve dormitory facilities housing 36 volunteers per week (over 1800/annually) that supply non-profits with volunteer labor for local home rebuilding.
Portlight Strategies | NJ Sandy Home Accessibility – $250,000
Serving Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Atlantic, and Cape May Counties
Description: Wheelchair ramp replacement and construction, replacing durable medical equipment and providing accessibility for raised homes in line with ADA requirements to ensure those with disabilities can remain in their homes.
Rebuilding Together for Bergen County | Sandy Recovery Project – $345,000
Serving Bergen County
Description: Provide funding for staff, renovations and materials to help 20 low-income families return to their homes
United Policyholders | Roadmap to Recovery – $47,000
Description: Provide insurance related education and counseling services to policy holders, including negotiations, paperwork support, and hiring strategies to avoid scams.
Volunteer Center of Bergen County | Long Term Recovery Mold Remediation -$400,000
Serving Bergen County
Description: Help up to 200 homes with mold remediation in Little Ferry and Moonachie.
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Inc | VLJ Disaster Legal Response Program – $133,000
Description: Volunteer training, and free legal representation to victims with complex legal issues