NYC to Homeless Hurricane Sandy Victims- MOVE!
Forgotten Hurricane Sandy? It’s understandable if you live in the vast majority of the country that was unaffected. It has been almost six months since Sandy hit New York/New Jersey. Many families still have no permanent homes. New York news outlets will do the occasional follow-up story about Sandy victims still toughing it out. (block quotes from “City Will End the Post-Sandy Hotel Program” by Josh Dawsey Wall Street Journal 3/23/13)
New York City is moving to shut down by the end of April the program that has placed superstorm Sandy refugees at hotels, the city’s top homeless-services official said Friday.
About 777 displaced families—or almost 2,000 individuals—remain at 47 different hotels citywide…
“Some of the people were working through a very difficult period and they lost a lot,” [said Seth Diamond, commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services]. “We’re trying to get people focused on the future.”
Translation from bureaucrat-speak: “You’re costing New York City money that must be used to regulate the size of soda drinks or fight for enhanced gun control beyond the City’s borders. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Get off our dime (but keep paying the property taxes on your now-vacant property and pay your city income tax while you’re at it).”
An additional 476 families are living in hotels through a separate program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency… FEMA officials are seeking to move participants into low-income rentals, but [they] declined to specify an end date for the hotel program.
In New Jersey, meanwhile, officials announced Thursday that the state had requested a sixth 14-day extension of FEMA’s hotel program, which still serves nearly 500 displaced households.
Are you doing the math? That’s a total of about 1,750 families being housed by various government entities. How many individuals would you estimate are in a “family”? Keep in mind these numbers do not include folks doubling up in homes with family and friends. Nor does it include folks getting housing assistance from non-governmental organizations. Should government continue to house these folks for the rest of their lives? Of course not. But surely we can provide for them until such time as their homes are rebuilt or they are able to locate suitable permanent housing.
Be thankful that you are sleeping in your home tonight as you consider the plight of those still suffering the effects of Sandy. Compare their plight to how much you suffer when your power goes out for a day or two.
BTW- don’t get me started on the President Obama photo op with New Jersey Governor Christie. Six months later, after the election, how are those photos helping these families?