Children and adolescents exposed to catastrophes such as Hurricane Sandy, including those whose families were not personally impacted by the storm, are at great risk of developing symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD can dramatically affect a child’s ability to function at home, at school, and with peers, but intervention by qualified mental health professionals can head off or alleviate the syndrome.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we mobilized to assist not only our clients but others throughout the area who were affected by the storm – addressing both their tangible and emotional needs.
We immediately opened our clinics to walk-in individuals and families who sought counseling, referrals, shelter and other services. And because our reputation with city, state and federal agencies and private foundations is so solid, we received numerous grants to better facilitate our ability to provide services to those who needed them most.
● Project Hope (a coordinated initiative of the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, NYS Office of Mental Health and FEMA). We are one of only two borough organizations funded to provide immediate crisis counseling to children and families. The grant has enabled us to hire more than 40 new part-time and full-time staffers to furnish these services at our clinics and in the community at evaluation centers, shelters, schools and even door-to-door.
● United Way disaster relief grant enabled us to provide crisis counseling in schools. United Way also shot a video of our crisis counseling services that it circulated to its members and supporters in order to help us raise more funds.
● Federal Emergency Head Start Grant made it possible to reopen the Dongan Hills Head Start Center, as of 11/19, for children in the affected areas, for at least a year.
● Robin Hood Foundation grant defrayed operating budget losses, allowed us to purchase supplies for clients and provide treatment services to children and families in the community.
● Save the Children provided new furniture for Dongan Hills Head Start and training for our staff.
● Thrift Shops – To further assist storm victims, both the Tottenville and Great Kills Thrift Shops offered free clothing and housewares to people who lost their possessions. All four of our Head Start sites doubled as distribution centers for supplies brought in by the National Guard. Our staff donated and collected food, clothing and cleaning supplies for clients and others
● School-Based Mental Health Services – Federally funded school-based therapeutic services for children suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of their experiences during and after Hurricane Sandy. Day and evening counseling and other services also available for parents and families. Services are provided at the following schools. For information call 718-442-2225, Ext. 453.
PS 38 – Midland Beach, 421 Lincoln Avenue, 718-351-1225
PS 41 – New Dorp, 216 Clawson Street, 718-351-6777
PS 53 – Bay Terrace, 330 Durant Avenue, 718-987-8020
IS 2 (Egbert Intermediate) – Midland Beach, 333 Midland Avenue,
IS 34 (Totten Intermediate) – 528 Academy Ave., 718-477-4500