By Emily Drooby
Any given day at the Chinese American Planning Council, or the CPC, immigrants from all over Brooklyn receive help.
Now, that help includes recovering from a disaster.
Tropical storm Ida devastated parts of New York, causing families to lose everything. FEMA is providing grants to help victims get back on their feet, but a whole community is being left out.
“When folks reached out a lot of people from the undocumented community were finding out they were not eligible for any of these grants,” explained Steve Mei. He’s the director of CPC Brooklyn Community Services.
The storm left undocumented New Yorkers very vulnerable, with no help finding new housing, replacing furniture or paying for funerals.
So the city and state stepped up – creating a 27-million-dollar fund to address this.
Steve said, “This will go a long way in terms of not only making folks be able to survive but be able to house them.”
The most one can get is $72,000 dollars; $36,000 for housing and $36,000 for other needs.
Five other non-profits throughout the city, upstate and Long Island are handling requests for their area. In the Bronx, Catholics are in charge. Catholic Charities New York is handling the requests there.
“These are families that really were left without anything. Their basements were flooded, their cars were flooded and they really have no other recourse,” explained Beatriz Diaz Taveras, the executive director of Catholic Charities NY Community Services. She added, “This is such a relief a welcome relief.”