State gets $38.5M for Sandy “service coordinators”

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More than 200 “service coordinators” will soon be available in portions of the state hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

The program, which the state will run with Catholic Charities, will put workers on the ground in New York City and suburban counties to act as “one-stop shops” for people rebuilding after Sandy and coordinate the resources they need, according to Cuomo’s office.

The program — known as the Disaster Case Management Program — is being funded with $38.5 million in federal money. The coordinators will help homeowners and families come up with a plan to recover from Sandy and help see the plan through, according to Cuomo’s office.

“As recovery from Sandy continues, we’re entering a critical phase where direct one-on-one service will provide survivors with the assistance they need to get their lives back in order,” Cuomo said in a statement.

All of the hard-hit counties will be eligible, including New York City, Rockland, Westchester, Putnam and Ulster Counties. Here’s how it works, according to Cuomo’s office:

“Service coordinators are both advocates and expediters for those affected by Sandy. They first assess if clients have unmet needs related to the storm. If people qualify, they will be assigned a disaster case manager to serve as a single point of contact for all government- and insurance-related assistance. Then, based on interactions with the client, the service coordinators create individualized disaster recovery plans, including advocating for access to needed services, coordinating benefits, and making referrals for services outside the scope of disaster case management. Existing Sandy-related services for individuals and families range from direct federal and state grants and Small Business Association loans to insurance advocacy and referrals to the range of not-for-profit and voluntary programs that have been established.”

You can call 1-855-258-0483 or visit catholiccharities.org to find the nearest provider.

(Photo by Susan Freiman / LoHud)

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