1-15-13 LTDRO Meeting Minutes

Staten Island Clergy Leadership Meeting Minutes                                        January 15th, 2013

Prayer
Introductions
Memory of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

  1. City Council Hearing January 16th. 10am-4pm  testimony from city agencies. 4-7pm panel presentations (we are on the panel). 7pm testimony from the public.
  2. Roundtable meeting with City Council Speaker Quinn January 24th at 4pm at City Hall.  Our two representatives: Tom Consolo and Rev. Brown.
  3. Church World Service Faith Community Disaster Training

Saturday January 26th in Queens 9-4pm.

**Project Hospitality can take a van leaving at 8am. Those who would like to go should email Karen Jackson.

WEBSITE UPDATE

**Draft of website and suggested graphic included in information packet. Please email Karen at Karen_jackson@projecthospitality.org if you have additional information that you would like to go on the website/ a blurb of your organization’s services, hours, location, contact info.

Project Hope folks would like a section of the website to talk about Project Hope services.

Goal to have it in English, Spanish, and Russian. English version will be running this Monday.

REVIEW OF SI CLERGY REQUESTS OF ELECTED OFFICIALS

Added a request for the city to act quickly to avert impending public health and environmental crisis in Staten Island.

Suggestion to change the language of ‘demand’ to ‘request.’ Approved by group.

Request for immediate mold remediation services.

Requests to extend critical deadlines for applications for repairs and relief.

Additional suggestions:

  • Better public relations and marketing from the city with regard to services available to Sandy victims.
  • Request for elected officials to meet with HUBs and community leaders on a regular basis.
  • Request for a disaster plan with community leaders ready to report, clear chain of command, availability of food. (The CERT program could step in to help coordinate this – there are at least 3 CERT teams on S.I. that weren’t called into action.)
  • Establish a world class emergency response network that is locally based in the community.  The city has a disaster plan that CERT/emergency management leaders are a part of  – why wasn’t this utilized?
  • Stick to three solid requests in this letter. Let’s get it out quickly after the Advance article telling people to stop their repairs until rebuilding info comes out in May. Our people need this information now!

Conclusion: With minor edits to the language, the coalition approves the letter to elected officials.

Members of the coalition are invited to sign onto the letter, and we will get it out immediately. People may also take more copies to collect additional signatures and email scanned copies to Karen at Karen_jackson@projecthospitality.org. We also suggest people send Karen a quote from their organization for use in the media.

PH will send letter out to everyone on our email list and they will send a quote from their organization.

UPDATES ON EVENTS AND SERVICES           

Two FEMA assistance days at 1128 Olympia were very successful with translation services. Over the next two weekends this is a central place to apply for FEMA assistance before the end-of-January deadline.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation  is providing gift cards for homeowners only at Vanderbilt at South Beach , 300 Father Capodanno Blvd Sun, Mon and Tues January 20, 21, and 22 10am-8pm. People should bring their FEMA paperwork with FEMA number, photo ID, and the deed to their house/or mortgage statement. Must have a red, green or yellow tagged home.

World Cares: Provides training sessions on leadership, mold suppression, and general disaster response. Happy to coordinate and manage volunteers to create a plan for future disasters. Feel free to contact them for these services to your organization.

Carl V. Bini Organization: Started by responding to immediate needs in neighborhood, coordinating with other groups, looking to support other groups with supplies and infrastructure, has a warehouse full of supplies. Looking to provide more long term financial and counseling services. Opening an outreach center on 1919 Hylan Blvd. with case workers. Carl’s House will be a safe place for people to come for assistance – will make appropriate referrals. Expect to be up and running with in the next couple of weeks.

Catholic charities will have caseworkers at 120 Anderson and at St. Margaret Mary’s church.

Red Cross update: Over 9,000 people have been reached through direct contact. Noticing a diminished need for food, but is partnering with City Harvest to provide an additional 60,000 meals for 60 days. Those in need of food can  should contact 311.

NEEDS ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE UPDATE

200 volunteers from NY Church of Christ will arrive at 1128 Olympia Blvd. at 9am to canvass five beach areas with a  survey that asks for contact info, medical needs, housing needs, and legal needs. We will compile data from an expected 700-1000 and present to committee to make a strategic plan for addressing prevailing needs.

Volunteers are welcome to help at this event and should arrive at 8am.

Suggestions:

We should catch people not living in beach areas who were impacted by the storm: Having centralized places for people to come and fill out the survey – widespread leafleting effort to inform them of this.

Or, we could have religious leaders give the assessment form to their congregants impacted by the storm.

We could have a 211 number for people to call and we could take their information on the phone.

We could have boxes at POD’s where people can fill out the form and put it in boxes.

We should note where houses are empty so we can research what happened to these families.

Could have a feb. 28th deadline for people to get the forms in.

If people are providing their names, we should have a statement of confidentiality.

Put it on the website so people can fill it out and send it back.

Look for key locations where traffic will pass through – ex Shop Rite, Siller, and Carl V. Bini.

UPDATE ON COALITION FORMING UNDER A 501C3

Even in a rush this takes time. We do have a consulting group who can help make this happen.

Building Bridges Coalition (only interfaith 501c3 on S.I.) has a congregationally based coalition of this sort. Mona has extended to this group the ability to be part of this, until we form our own or otherwise, so long as we have an accountant and  two members of their board are part of the disaster interfaith network (already have Melody and Susan).

Rationale for a long term recovery group becoming a 501c3: We need a non-profit status to have access to larger pools of funds. There are many people who want to donate to ltr groups – need to know they can trust the organization they are giving to.

Remember, FEMA money being voted on in congress is to reimburse the state and city, not to go to individuals. There are people who will give to a coordinated committee to get resources directly to Sandy victims. We belong to the NY state disaster interfaith service – another group that receives money denominationally – attending these meetings to have input about resources for S.I.

Being a larger group will help us to access FEMA money as well.

Suggestion: SI Interfaith Disaster Response Network should be the branding name.

Building bridges affirms this so long as it isn’t permanent.

On S.I. alone over 87 million has gone out to people from FEMA. 3,182 seniors have applied and are in the system. We still need to stress FEMA registration as the main way to get financial assistance to people who have so far fallen through the cracks.

**Conclusion: We will partner with Building Bridges for the time being as we form our own 501c3.

FINAL UPDATES

Americorp: From the corporation for national and community service. Building up 300 full-time americorp members to come muck out houses/help with the relief effort. Doing wellness checks along with the city of NY and the national guard, have been canvassing in coordination with FEMA and the city. Could make these resources available to our coalition – such as direct service and americorp vistas. Could use places to house these volunteers.

Lynette ready to do Feb 16th and 18th clothing distribution at Brighton Heights sponsored by SI Moravian Churches. Need volunteers on Friday the 15th from 10-5 and on the 18th they need 20 people to work between 2-6. Karen will email out this request.

Organizations may send pdf’s to Karen to distribute to the coalition.

FEMA at occupy sandy the next two weekends – we need to operate like there won’t be an extension and reach the people sitting on the fence.

If registration closes on the 28th and  people can’t get back into their houses, how do they get rental assistance after the 28th of January? Even if there’s an extension, you may have to re-apply – it’s applicant specific depending on when you moved into that hotel.

National VOAD orgs can apply for a routine use request through FEMA to receive 20,000+ names of registrants.

Matthew Baker from Salvation Army might be able to get us vouchers.

We need an attorney from the lawyers alliance to come next week to start the process of applying for 501c3 status.

Next meeting: January 23rd. 12-2 at 312 Fillmore St.

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