From the CEO
One year ago, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast and devastated the lives of thousands of New Yorkers on Staten Island. Children’s Aid immediately sprang into action to help vulnerable, low-income families by providing emergency relief, such as vouchers for food and clothing, and special assistance for resettlement—including move-in expenses and money for home renovations.
Today, many families are still adjusting to a new way of life and the challenges they have faced in the aftermath of the storm. One such family, The Heralds [name changed], were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy. They lost everything in their home due to flooding—beds, chairs, couches, clothing, appliances and books. They also lost two family cars.
Jared, a husband and father of three daughters, is the sole breadwinner for his family, but was forced into an early retirement just two days after Hurricane Sandy hit. He now works part-time in a borrowed car delivering papers to help make ends meet. In order to sustain the Heralds, we have provided them with vouchers for food, utility bills and transportation.
As Staten Island recovers, Children’s Aid continues to invest in this resilient community as part of our vision to help children there become educated, healthy and confident adults.
Over a year ago, we began operating the Richmond Early Childhood Center, our first early childhood program in Staten Island now serving more than 125 children ages 2 to 5 years and their families. We also opened the Staten Island Family Center, where we offer traditional foster care services and a specialized therapeutic program for youth with behavioral challenges, as well as a general preventative program to help at-risk families avoid entry into the foster care system when possible.
Recently, we have partnered with Curtis High School to create a community school that features our first school-based health center in Staten Island. The clinic at Curtis, which serves more than 3,000 students living in the low-income North Shore area, opened on November 4 and will host a December ribbon-cutting event with special guests such as Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who helped commit the funds to make this partnership possible.
We are proud to increase our vital work in all our target neighborhoods and on Staten Island, helping the children and families who need us most. With your support, we are there, step by step, as they recover from this crisis and in the years to come.