ACTION ALERT

Solidarity After Sandy

When: 
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 (All day) - Monday, November 12, 2012 (All day)
Where: 

Gowanus Community Center: 420 Baltic St. btw Bond and Hoyt

For over two weeks FUREE members, staff, allies and local Gowanus public housing residents ran a relief center to address the immediate needs of hundeds of tenants living for without power, heat and hot water after Hurricane Sandy.

We thank the countless volunteers, donors, and inspiring community leaders who came together in this moment of need and of solidarity.  On November 12th we closed down relief efforts after services were restored to all buildings.

FUREE is now working with Gowanus Houses residents on a united campaign to re-open their community center (where post-Sandy relief efforts were based).  Barring a small senior program, the large space has sat mostly vacant for 3 years.  FUREE members within the public housing developments will be leading an effort to survey (and mobilize!) their neighbors to decide what residents want out of a revitalized community center, and how we're going to come together to win it back!

Please check our Facebook page for updates on this front, or contact us to get involved in this exciting community empowerment project!

 

----------

Below are past updates posted during our relief efforts:

 

Please check FUREE's Facebook page for our most up-to-date list of food, supplies and volunteer needs.

UPDATE: 11/9, 2:03 am

::: GOWANUS HOUSES SUPPORT - FRI. 11/9 :::

Yesterday, three of the five affected buildings had either electricity, heat, hot water or some combination of the above. For a while, two buildings also lost power to hallways, lobbies and stairways, leaving residents in total darkness. 

The list of residents who needed food and other support grows each hour. We're learning that some have not received their benefits; have lost their benefits altogether or simply did not have the information they needed to provide for emergency supports.

Some residents and volunteers have been brought to tears. One resident wanted to give up and not take her life-sustaining medicine. Others wonder why NYCHA never showed up to talk to them directly. A growing number are realizing that they need to build power, tell their own stories and organize their neighbors to win changes.

We thank the countless volunteers that trek heavy bags of food, who make pharmacy runs, who make multiple trips to as high as 14 stories each and every day. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from donors from New York City and all over the country that have given food, supplies and donations to keep relief efforts going. You all make Gowanus residents feel connected to a broader community and give them strength to make it through another day, another hour and another minute.

The residents of Gowanus still need your support, your encouragement and your belief in justice.

On day seven of providing support to the residents of Gowanus Houses, we will continue to practice self-determination, community-building and movement-building. 

Our goals:

1. Continue to provide important supports including food, water, supplies, medication and work to increase the sustainability of families.

2. Connect residents to the appropriate medical, legal and psycho-social services to alleviate their stress.

3. Continue to train residents to coordinate relief efforts for themselves and their neighbors4. Explore how Gowanus residents will determine the type of community they want, to build power to win changes and to hold accountable those who are elected and mandated to represent and support them.


Here's what you can do to help on Fri. 11/9:


:::VOLUNTEER:::

We need about 20 volunteers for door-knocking, distribute food and complete food/water/supply deliveries to our families as well as make assessments of the medical needs of elders, sick and home-bound residents.


8 a.m. - 10 a.m.: Deliver breakfast to homebound residents

11 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Bring in deliveries, set up for the day

12 p.m. - 1 p.m.: Briefing for outreach volunteers; set up for lunch

1 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Deliver lunch, check in on homebound residents; pantry, legal services, medical services occur. This is when we need at least 12 volunteers.

5 p.m. - 7 p.m.: Package dinner

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.: Deliver dinner and do a final check of homebound and elderly residents (delivery teams are briefed as they come in). This is also when we need at least 12 volunteers

8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.: Clean up and get organized for the next day.
Volunteers are asked to meet at the Gowanus Community Center, 420 Baltic Street between Hoyt and Bond Streets in Brooklyn. The above times are guides and may not be exact.

:::DONATE:::

We need food! We need supplies! We need your help!

Please donate as much as you can; no donation is ever too small! Please give only what is on the list so we don't have an excess of food and supplies that we can't move:
- Baby food (vegetarian, with meat/chicken, fruit, cereal stages 1, 2, 3)

- Water

- Evaporated, powdered and regular milk (1/2 gal. or smaller, parmalat)

- Soy milk

- Pediasure

- Ensure

- Ready made formula (with iron, regular/soy/sensitive)

- Canned goods (beans, vegetables, tomato sauce, soups, tuna fish, sardines, vienna sausages)

- Protein/granola/cereal/fruit bars

- Apple Sauce/Fruit Cups

- Flashlights

- Batteries (especially AA and D)

- Candles

- Peanut butter

- Fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, etc)

- Disposable hand warmers

- Hygiene products (soap, deodorant, toothpaste)

- Disinfecting products (hand sanitizer, bleach, wipes, sprays, etc.)

Goods can be delivered between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to the address listed below.
Prepared food can be delivered until 6 p.m. at the latest. Seniors tend to go to bed early and we want to ensure they are getting a timely dinner.

Please DO NOT BRING clothing and blankets. We have more than enough! Please consider bringing them to another community devastated by Sandy or local shelters.

We also need cash contributions so we can purchase what is needed and to support this relief work at Gowanus Houses. To donate online, visit http://furee.org/donate or make checks payable to FUREE. Indicate if you are donating for relief efforts or to support FUREE's overall work in the memo/notes sections.

::: CONNECT RESIDENTS TO SERVICES :::

Our friends from South Brooklyn Legal Services will be on site and visiting residents to apply for FEMA assistance and other benefit assistance. 

Medical personnel will be on hand to check in on the sick and homebound and to make sure that residents have their needed medication.

Volunteers are needed to alert residents of these FREE services and to help pick up prescriptions from local pharmacies to deliver to residents.

LOCATION:Gowanus Community Center, 420 Baltic Street in Brooklyn

To sign up, please send e-mail to valery[at]furee[dot]org before 12 p.m. or dez[at]furee[dot]org after 12 p.m.

Again, thank you all for support!

UPDATE: 11/8, 8:30 am

::: GOWANUS HOUSES SUPPORT - THURS. 11/8 :::
Day Six of Relief Efforts = Day 11 with out heat/hot water/electricity for Gowanus residents!
We're tired. We're worn. We're frustrated.

Yesterday, the NYCHA reported that power, heat, and electricity was on in all buildings at Gowanus. That was not the case and the more than two dozen volunteers that helped yesterday can tell you. 

Today, we hear that two buildings now have power and heat but we won't be sure until we hear directly from residents. 

On day six of Support for Gowanus. We will continue to provide relief to the families of the affected buildings. 

On day six, we will practice self-determination and community-building. We will practice movement building.


Our goals:

1. Get families enough food, water and other supplies for today

2. Make sure that sick residents have enough medication and see medical personnel by the end of the day

3. Get residents connected to the appropriate agencies that can provide further disaster relief.

:::VOLUNTEER:::

We need about 20 volunteers for door-knocking, distribute food and complete food/water/supply deliveries to our families as well as make assessments of the medical needs of elders, sick and home-bound residents.

Volunteers are being asked to meet at the center (see address below) at 12 p.m. If you are interested in serving as an outreach coordinator and if you can help bring in donations and package bags of food for families, please come at 11 a.m.

Outreach and distribution will go on until 6 p.m., weather permitting.

We also need help in the evening, when we tend to have less volunteers, to deliver hot food to home-bound residents between 6 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. We would need 10 volunteers to get this done. If you can do evening hours, please come through. 

:::DONATE:::

We need food! We need supplies! We need your help!

Please donate as much as you can; no donation is ever too small! Please give only what is on the list so we don't have an excess of food and supplies that we can't move:

- Baby food (vegetarian, with meat/chicken, fruit, cereal stages 1, 2, 3)

- Water

- Evaporated, powdered and regular milk (1/2 gal. or smaller)

- Soy milk

- Pediasure

- Ensure

- Glucerna

- Ready made formula (with iron, regular/soy/sensitive)

- Canned goods (beans, vegetables, tomato sauce, soups, tuna fish, sardines, vienna sausages)

- Protein/granola/cereal/fruit bars

- Apple Sauce

- Diapers (newborn, sizes 1, 4 and 6)

- Toddler training pants (sizes 4+)

- Flashlights

- Batteries (especially C and D)

- Candles/Flashlights

- Peanut butter

- Sliced bread

- Fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, etc)

- Disposable hand warmers

- Gloves

- Socks

- Dry Ice (we have none and already, some residents' insulin have gone bad.)


Goods can be delivered between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to the address listed below.
Prepared food can be delivered until 6 p.m. at the latest.

Please DO NOT BRING clothing and blankets. We have more than enough!

We also need cash contributions so we can purchase what is needed and to support this relief work at Gowanus Houses. To donate online, visit http://furee.org/donate or make checks payable to FUREE. Indicate if you are donating for relief efforts or to support FUREE's overall work in the memo/notes sections.

::: CONNECT RESIDENTS TO SERVICES :::

Our friends from South Brooklyn Legal Services will be on site and visiting residents to apply for FEMA assistance and other assistance.

We will also have medical personnel on hand to check in on the sick and homebound and to make sure that residents have their needed medication.

Volunteers are needed to alert residents of these FREE services and to help pick up prescriptions from local pharmacies to deliver to residents.

LOCATION:Gowanus Community Center, 420 Baltic Street in Brooklyn
To sign up, please send e-mail to valery[at]furee[dot]org or lucas[at]furee.org
Again, thank you all for support!


UPDATE: 11/7, 2:50 am

::: GOWANUS HOUSES SUPPORT - WED. 11/7 :::


Today, we're expecting heavy rains and high winds. The NYC alerts we've received tell us to stay home or to find a nearest shelter.

The families in the Gowanus Houses buildings, especially seniors, the ill and the homebound that are STILL WITHOUT POWER, HEAT AND HOT WATER have no choice but to stay home. These are the people who rely on relief efforts to get food, water, blankets.

Since the City of New York is doing virtually NOTHING to help Gowanus residents, the family of donors, volunteers, community organizations and faith based organizations have become their life line. 

Yesterday, we struggled greatly to provide relief to Gowanus residents who are angry, hurt and frustrated that they are not getting the support or communications needed by city, state and federal agencies about further disaster assistance.
On day five, we can not stay in our warm homes, with access to refrigerated food and the ability to come and go as we please...or as we need.

On day five, we will practice self-determination and community-building. We will practice movement building.

Our goals:

1. Get families enough food, water and other supplies to last three days

2. Make sure that sick residents have enough medication and see medical personnel by the end of the day

3. Get residents connected to the appropriate agencies that can provide further disaster relief.


:::VOLUNTEER:::

We need about 20 volunteers for door-knocking, distribute food and complete food/water/supply deliveries to our families as well as make assessments of the medical needs of elders, sick and home-bound residents.

Volunteers are being asked to meet at the center (see address below) at 12 p.m. If you are interested in serving as an outreach coordinator and if you can help bring in donations and package bags of food for families, please come at 11 a.m.

Outreach and distribution will go on until 6 p.m., weather permitting.

We also need help in the evening, when we tend to have less volunteers, to deliver hot food to home-bound residents between 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. We would need 10 volunteers to get this done. If you can do evening hours, please check this page or FUREE's web page for an update. 

:::DONATE:::

We need food! We need supplies! We need your help!

Please donate as much as you can; no donation is ever too small! Please give only what is on the list so we don't have an excess of food and supplies that we can't move:

- Baby food (vegetarian, with meat/chicken, fruit, cereal stages 1, 2, 3)- Water- Evaporated, powdered and regular milk (1/2 gal. or smaller)- Soy milk- Pediasure- Ensure- Glucerna- Ready made formula (with iron, regular/soy/sensitive)- Canned goods (beans, vegetables, tomato sauce, soups, tuna fish, sardines, vienna sausages)- Protein/granola/cereal/fruit bars- Apple Sauce- Diapers (newborn, sizes 1, 4 and 6)- Toddler training pants (sizes 4+)- Flashlights- Batteries (especially C and D)- Candles/Flashlights- Peanut butter- Sliced bread- Fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, etc)- Disposable hand warmers- Gloves- Socks- Dry Ice (we have none and already, some residents' insulin have gone bad.)

Goods can be delivered between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to the address listed below.

Please DO NOT BRING clothing and blankets. 

We also need cash contributions so we can purchase what is needed and to support this relief work at Gowanus Houses. To donate online, visit http://furee.org/donate or make checks payable to FUREE. Indicate if you are donating for relief efforts or to support FUREE's overall work in the memo/notes sections.


::: CONNECT RESIDENTS TO SERVICES :::

Our friends from South Brooklyn Legal Services will be on site and visiting residents to apply for FEMA assistance and other assistance. 

We will also have medical personnel from the NYU Medical Center to check in on the sick and homebound and to make sure that residents have their needed medication.
Volunteers are needed to alert residents of these FREE services and to help pick up prescriptions from local pharmacies to deliver to residents.

LOCATION:Gowanus Community Center, 420 Baltic Street in Brooklyn
To sign up, please send e-mail to valery[at]furee[dot]org or lucas[at]furee.org
Again, thank you all for support!

 


UPDATE: 11/6, 11:00 am

:: GOWANUS HOUSES SUPPORT - TUES. 11/6:::

Day Four is going to be critical! We are racing against the clock with a nor'easter expecting hit NYC by dawn on Wednesday. According to reports, this may raise water levels up to 4 feet and will hover over us until Thursday.

It's also Election Day and with many residents still feeling the impact of Hurricane Sandy, we have several, important goals for the day and we hope we can count on your support:

1. Get families enough food, water and other supplies to last three days
2. Make sure that sick residents have enough medication and see medical personnel by the end of the day
3. Get residents to the polls and provide transportation assistance for the elderly and differently-abled

:::VOLUNTEER:::
We need about 30 volunteers for door-knocking, distribute food and complete food/water/supply deliveries to our families as well as make assessments of the medical needs of elders, sick and home-bound residents.

Volunteers are being asked to meet at the center (see address below) at 12 p.m. If you are interested in serving as an outreach coordinator, please come at 11 a.m. for a briefing.

Outreach and distribution will go on until 6 p.m.

We also need help in the evenings, when we tend to have less volunteers, to deliver hot food to home-bound residents between 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

:::DONATE:::
Again, we need THREE TIMES the amount of supplies we've been receiving so far. We want to make sure that families have enough to last through the nor'easter in the event that we can not safely operate relief efforts at Gowanus.

Please donate as much as you can; no donation is ever too small! Please give only what is on the list so we don't have an excess of food and supplies that we can't move:

- Baby food (vegetarian, with meat/chicken, fruit, cereal stages 1, 2, 3)
- Water
- Evaporated, powdered and regular milk (1/2 gal. or smaller)
- Soy milk
- Pediasure
- Ensure
- Glucerna
- Ready made formula (with iron, regular/soy/sensitive)
- Canned goods (beans, vegetables, tomato sauce, soups, tuna fish, sardines, vienna sausages)
- Protein/granola/cereal/fruit bars
- Apple Sauce
- Diapers (newborn, sizes 1, 4 and 6)
- Toddler training pants (sizes 4+)
- Flashlights
- Batteries (especially C and D)
- Candles/Flashlights
- Peanut butter
- Sliced bread
- Fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, etc)
- Disposable hand warmers
- Gloves
- Socks

Goods can be delivered between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to the address listed below.

***We have enough clothing and blankets. Thanks!***

We also need cash contributions so we can purchase what is needed and to support this relief work at Gowanus Houses. To donate online, visit http://furee.org/donate or make checks payable to FUREE.

:::GET OUT THE VOTE!:::
Governor Cuomo issued an executive order allowing NYS residents to vote at ANY polling site. We need volunteers who can drive or walk residents needing transportation support to the polls between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. If you are driving, FUREE can provide a limited reimbursement for gas.

Location for all of this:
Gowanus Community Center, 420 Baltic Street in Brooklyn

To sign up, please contact Valery at valery[at]furee[dot]org or lucas[at]furee.org.

Again, thank you all for support!


 

 

UPDATE: 11/5, 5:00 pm


FUREE has been working with residents of Gowanus Housing and our members in the community since Friday, Nov. 1, providing food and supplies to those still without power. Five of the buildings in the public housing complex have no electricity, which means elevators, water pumps, and heat are all out of service.

We are operating out of the Gowanus Community Center at 420 Baltic St, collecting supplies to support this community in its time of need.  

Despite dozens of shipments of generous donations, we are running desperately low on some supplies. Please note we do NOT need more diapers or baby food/supplies at this time.

URGENT NEEDS:Canned Food - vegetables, fruit, tuna, soup, beans, chili, applesauce, peanut butter, bread, fashlights, candles and D batteries.

__

Our support and solidarity goes out to everyone affected by Sandy and its aftermath.  Now is the time for us to come together to ensure our families, neighbors and fellow New Yorkers are safe, sound, and getting the services they need.

Many of our members are still without power, with limited food and water, in NYCHA apartments without heat, or dealing with the transportation challenges we’re all facing.

FUREE is opening up our offices for anyone in need of a place to recharge their cell-phones, to get on a computer, have a hot cup of coffee, rest, or meet with members and staff to see what other forms of support we can offer, including securing emergency public assistance and food.  Little ones are welcome to hang out in our childcare room for some down time.  We also have a limited number of space headers available to borrow for FUREE members living in public housing.  Come visit us at 81 Willoughby St. on the 7th Floor, right here in Downtown Brooklyn (M/W/F/ 11-5pm, Tu/Th 1-7pm).

Here are other ways you can offer your support or get the assistance you need:

1) NYC Service: Click the link for more information, or email nycservice [at] cityhall [dot] nyc [dot] gov with your name, email address and borough to sign up for volunteer opportunities.

2) Occupy Sandy Relief NYC: Visit this site developed by Occupy Wall Street and community allies to respond to needs neighborhood-by-neighborhood.

3) NYC Hurricane Zones: Enter your address here to find the closest shelter to you and reach out to see if they are in need of volunteers.

4) Donate to FUREE: Support our efforts to provide food and other necessities to members. You can indicate if your donation is for relief support or general support of FUREE and we will honor your wishes.

Also, please consider visiting nursing homes in your area, elderly residents on your block, and other spaces where people might just need some company or assistance after the storm.

While Sandy may have been a natural disaster, the disparate impact on families has brought NYC’s “hideous inequality” to the surface.  As we recover from the hurricane’s wrath, let us refocus our energies and activism on the need for economic justice, sustainable communities, responsive government and a culture of solidarity.  We can rebuild a better New York together.