photos by Nick Childers
Coney Island, Brooklyn, NYC - photos from 11/6/2012
I'm just going to publish this letter in full:
UPDATE FROM TODAY 11/8:Help if you can, and keep tabs on Occupy Sandy's site for other ways to do it.
I have spent the better part of four days volunteering with Hurricane Sandy victims in Coney Island.
I am working with Occupy Sandy AND the Presidents of the Coney Island Houses and the Odwire Houses. This is Mutual Aid- we are working WITH the community, not simply giving charity. The NYCHA residents I have personally dealt with- Deborah Reed the President of the Coney Island Houses and Ilma the president of the Odwire Gardens Houses are incredible women. They are, however, spread thin and have no-one to help them answer to the thousands of residents that they represent.
There are ZERO agencies with a big presence out in the Coney Island Housing, Odwire Gardens Housing or Surfside Housing as of right now. NO FEMA, NO RED CROSS, NO NYC HOUSING, NO AUTHORITIES WHATSOEVER. The FEMA tent is a 20 minute walk away. The Red Cross has BARELY been there [they sometimes send one truck for 15-20 buildings once or twice a day]. There are elderly people stuck on the top floors of pitch-black buildings with NO FOOD AND WATER. Families with no food to feed their children. Mothers with no baby formula or wipes. Diabetics and asthmatics with no medicine. THERE HAS BEEN NO POWER, HEAT OR WATER FOR OVER A WEEK AND A HALF. Next to no one has flashlights and/or batteries. My small crew of volunteers PERSONALLY gave out these goods to the above people in need and encouraged them with what little info and energy we had. We saw the issues first hand. Today we used the community rooms in multiple buildings a relief sites- distribution for all necessities like food, water, batteries, baby supplies, feminine products ect. We expect to do this in more buildings.
All of the supermarkets and bodegas within a 15 minute walk of the above Housing have been flooded or looted. THERE IS NOWHERE TO BUY FOOD. Please link to these images - use them as much as you please- courtesy of Nick Childers.
WHAT IS NEEDED:
Non perishable and hot FOOD
BATTERIES of any size
Please understand, this email is a direct account of what is happening now. NYC IS NOT BACK TO NORMAL. Every area mentioned above has Katrina-level devastation and needs with only small citizen groups to aid everyone and distribute everything. Please help by donating, volunteering, or simply spreading the word. This is the only article I have found on the subject and it is accurate for the housing it represents but not for Coney Island: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/living-hell-nycha-houses-article-1.1197748 - Conditions were similar but there we some glaring problems on top of what they reported about.
I will be setting up a distribution center at 2828 Neptune Avenue tomorrow and will write back with more info. Please call me at 201.658.6194 with any questions.