The Salvation Army Joins
the City’s Hurricane Relief Efforts
October 20, 2017 – The Salvation Army of Greater New York has joined New York City’s hurricane relief work by serving in the Hurricane Service Center that opened yesterday in East Harlem, meeting with 77 households utilizing the center’s services. The Center will help meet the needs of evacuees from affected areas, primarily Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.
Assisting with the intake process and doing needs assessment to find any gaps in service that it can potentially fill, The Salvation Army is partnering with other agencies to help people in the city who have been displaced by Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey to receive essential services and assistance from one central location, the Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center at 1680 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan (entrance on East 106th Street).
“Having extensive experience from working at Ground Zero after 9/11, and then a decade later with fellow New Yorkers in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Services of Greater New York has developed unique experience to join teams in providing aide following an unprecedented 2017 hurricane season,” Lieutenant Colonel Ricardo Fernandez, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Greater New York Division, said.
“After Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, teams from The Salvation Army in New York joined an already established Salvation Army presence on the islands to provide millions of meals just days after the storms hit,” he said. “Roughly ten percent of our fellow New Yorkers have roots in Puerto Rico, and The Salvation Army of Greater New York is committed to a long-term partnership with the island to serve the over 3 million residents affected and help in the physical and emotional rebuilding of the region.”
Fernandez, along with his wife, served as leaders of The Salvation Army in Puerto Rico from 2005-2010.
The Salvation Army serves every zip code in The United States. When disaster strikes, The Salvation Army is already firmly positioned to help local communities, whether directly affected or feeling the residual affects.
The city’s hurricane relief service center will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. The City of New York is urging individuals planning to visit the service center to make an appointment by visiting nyc.gov or call 311. (Note: the center will be closed Saturday, October 21.)
The Salvation Army will be on-site with New York City government agencies and other nonprofit and community-based organizations, together helping connect families and individuals with critical services, including enrollment in public benefits and health insurance, food assistance, and mental health counseling.
UPDATE November 8, 2017 – The Salvation Army has maintained a continuous presence at the Hurricane Evacuation Service Center since its’ opening on October 19 at 1680 Lexington Avenue and E. 106th Street in East Harlem. Thanks to the generosity of individual donors and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, as of November 8, The Salvation Army Emergency Services has provided direct financial assistance to 306 households with a total value of $22,650. This assistance has addressed the immediate needs of transportation in the form of MetroCards and of clothing with vouchers to The Salvation Army’s Family Stores.
The Salvation Army also participates in coordination calls convened by NYC Emergency Management and provides leadership to a NYC Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NYCVOAD) Recovery Working Group recently established for service coordination among government and nonprofit partners. Coordination helps most effectively assess and address needs and allows for proper planning of longer term services.
The Salvation Army continues to monitor the rollout of FEMA Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) and related state agreements, as these could have major impacts including a possible increase in number of evacuees, available services and mechanisms for service delivery.
UPDATE December 1, 2017 – November 30 marked the end of a devastating hurricane season yet The Salvation Army continues to aide in recovery efforts for those affected by the recent hurricanes. Since the opening of the Hurricane Evacuation Service Center (HESC) in East Harlem on October 19, The Salvation Army has provided assistance to nearly 650 households. Ranging from financial assistance for clothing and transportation to referrals for food and casework, the referrals and help given are in direct correlation to needs expressed by evacuees arriving in New York City. Most recently, The Salvation Army is involved in the newly opened Marketplace. Co-located with the HESC, the Marketplace offers new clothing, outerwear and household goods through corporate donations. In coordination with New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) as the managing agency of the Marketplace, The Salvation Army is providing logistical support by warehousing, sorting and delivering the donated new items to the Marketplace and is providing tote bags for people to carry home their selected items. The HESC is consistently seeing dozens of households a day; mostly people who have left Puerto Rico due to dire conditions following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Salvation Army will continue to modify its services as unique needs become apparent.