Press Release: Faith Leaders Demand Alternative Housing, Post-Sandy

P R E S S R E L E A S E
For Immediate Release

Tuesday December 4, 2012

Contact:
Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz, 347-982-1677 (English & Spanish)
Rev. John Mertz, 718-930-1268 (English)
Luis Casco, 347-207-4113 (English & Spanish)

AT MAYOR’S HOME FAITH LEADERS DEMAND ALTERNATIVE HOUSING FOR RESIDENTS LIVING IN POST-SANDY MOLD INFESTED HOMES

WHERE: Home of Mayor Bloomberg – 17 East 79th Street, Manhattan NYC

WHEN: 11AM TUESDAY DECEMBER 4, 2012

WHO: Faith leaders working with Occupy Sandy victims will be joined by community organizers and community members of affected areas to make an urgent plea to the Mayor to immediately provide housing solutions to those displaced by Superstorm Sandy.

WHAT: Without the housing alternatives that the mayor ought to have provided by now many victims have had no choice but to stay in their devastated and mold-infested homes. As a result many are getting terribly sick from these conditions. The lack of housing coupled with the misinformation of the dangers of living with mold are putting these vulnerable communities at greater risk than necessary.

“The Katrina ghost is being resuscitated by the slow response of the city and lack of guidance and vision for the Federal Government. It is clear to me that as we, people of faith, have responded in opening our Churches, synagogues, and other sacred spaces and it is long overdue that the government and those who have accumulated and have the resources, in their care, need to step up. It is a crisis and we need our structures in place to adapt and work for the most vulnerable among us,” Rev. Ruiz, who has worked along Occupy Sandy’s hub at St. Jacobi’s Lutheran Church, stated. These devastated communities are encountering completely avoidable challenges due to the lack of alternative housing making much more difficult the task of rebuilding.

We are living in a mold infested community,” said resident Luis Casco, “One of my neighbors is a 67 year old woman who cannot run her daycare any longer and has a respiratory disease and is living in mold.”

“We are people, not animals, we should not be living in these horrible conditions.” added Casco.

Rev. Caliendo, who works as a chaplain for the nurses, added “one of the most important factors in this entire situation is that the Rockaways was an under-served community the storm has decimated all services, the most important medical services. Over the last couple of days I along with mental health professionals are working to organize mental health support in the churches. Although a group of concerned doctors, nurses and advocates have been on conference calls with the mayor’s office, no progress has been made to aid and deliver resources needed to avert the crisis”.

Community members and faith leaders demand that the Mayor answer the immediate need for housing. Denying them this human right means that the mayor is failing in his duties and undermining the tremendous efforts these communities are making to recover.

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