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Mayor's Office Announces Ongoing Support Services to Assist Those Affected by East Harlem Building Collapse

March 25, 2014

Ongoing Recovery Efforts Will Focus on Providing Resources and Services to Rebuild Lives and Heal the Community

NEW YORK – Today the New York City Mayor’s Office announced that recovery efforts following the building explosion in East Harlem have transitioned from emergency response and relief to addressing the ongoing needs of those affected. Following the event on March 12, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City began raising funds to provide direct support for individuals and families in need, as well as coordinating a programmatic response with key service partners. Now, program partner Safe Horizon and other experienced community-based organizations that have deep ties in the area and robust social service capabilities are focused on providing those touched by the tragedy with the resources needed to rebuild their lives and heal the community.

“The response to the tragic events in East Harlem has demonstrated, yet again, that this city knows how to come together to take care of New Yorkers in a time of crisis,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It is now time for us to work with our experienced community organizations and generous private partners to ensure every resident affected by this incident has what they need to make a full and rapid recovery.”

“New Yorkers have been overwhelming in their generosity for East Harlem, and together, we will help rebuild – while also remembering those we lost,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Whether it’s displaced families, small businesses, or anyone else affected by the blast, New York City is ready to provide important and much-needed support to those who need it. I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio and his whole administration for working hand-in-hand with the community in order to make sure that victims get the critical assistance they need.”

This is the strategic approach taken by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, in collaboration with city agencies and local partners, to provide direct support, counseling, and financial assistance to help those in need. Safe Horizon will coordinate with two other local community groups – Union Settlement and LSA Family Health Service – to offer a comprehensive package of services and outreach to local residents. The American Red Cross of Greater New York, which will transition casework to long-term recovery partners, will continue to offer mental health assistance and support to the community.

Working in close consultation with city agencies, Safe Horizon will apply their extensive experience to provide the intensive case management and one-on-one assistance needed by those in the process of recovering. In addition to delivering individualized, ongoing case management and mental health counseling, Safe Horizon will administer the Victims Assistance Fund, which is offering targeted grants to any household living within the six impacted buildings. The grants will help cover expenses such as funeral-related costs, food, clothing, and housing-related incidentals.

Residents seeking aid should call or visit Safe Horizon’s Manhattan-Bronx Community Program at 212-316-2100 and located at 100 East 122nd Street. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Fridays 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Safe Horizon is also maintaining a 24-hour hotline to provide assistance outside of operating hours: 866-689-HELP. Additional updates on status of city services, including vacate orders, are available by calling 311.

This joint effort with Safe Horizon and the Mayor’s Fund follows a similar public-private partnership with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to help coordinate the placement of residents requiring longer-term housing options.

About Safe Horizon:

Safe Horizon is the largest victim services agency in the United States, with more than 50 locations, touching the lives of 250,000 children, adults and families affected by crime and abuse each year. Program areas include: Domestic Violence; Child Abuse; Human Trafficking; Sexual Assault; Street-involved Youth; Court & Community. Safe Horizon works in all five boroughs of New York City.

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