NYC service center will provide information and assistance for individuals affected by recent hurricanes
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio announced the opening of a service center to support displaced individuals and families from Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands following recent hurricanes. The center is open at the Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center located at 1680 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
“New York City will help those affected by recent hurricanes in any way we can. We’ve been sending donations and emergency responders to affected areas, and now we’re setting up a central location to help displaced people in our city receive essential services and assistance,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This is a humanitarian crisis the likes our city has ever experienced and we must do everything we can to help our fellow Puerto Ricans who have given so much to our city and to our country,” said Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito. “Where the federal government has come up short, New York has always stepped up and it is no different in this case. This city is prepared to help Boricuas from the island with the resources and providing essential services during this dire time of need”
The City’s service center will offer in-person support and access to services to individuals affected by the hurricanes, and will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. The City of New York is urging individuals planning to visit the service centers to make an appointment beginning October 18 by visiting nyc.gov or call 311. (Note: the center will be closed Saturday, October 21.)
New York City government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community-based organizations will be on-site to help connect families and individuals to critical services, including enrollment in public benefits and health insurance, food assistance, and mental health counseling.
Services provided at the center include but are not limited to:
- Department of Social Serviceswill assist with enrollment in SNAP benefits, cash assistance, and public health insurance, and help connect people with emergency food assistance. English and Spanish speakers will be available to assist with enrollment.
- Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will provide mental health counseling, health insurance support, emergency pharmacy assistance and will refer individuals to medical care in collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals. They will also provide information on immunization assistance targeted toward school enrollment.
- Department for the Aging will provide meals to seniors, assist in case management, and assist with senior employment.
- Department of Education will provide information and assistance for displaced students.
- Human Resource Administration’s Office of Civil Justice will convene several legalproviders to provide legal consultation to individuals in need.
- American Red Cross of Greater New Yorkwill assist in disaster relief management — including referrals, distribution of emergency supplies, and applying for assistance — and mental health counseling.
- Animal Care and Control andthe American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will provide veterinary care and pet supplies.
- The New York Disaster Interfaith Services will provide spiritual care to those in need.
“New York City is home to one of the largest Caribbean diasporas in the United States, and we want to ensure that our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are accepted and integrated fully into our community. My administration will work hand in hand with Mayor de Blasio so that Brooklyn can support families affected by these hurricanes,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.
“As we’ve unfortunately learned all too well here in New York, few things are more critical during and after a crisis than clear information and cross-agency coordination,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Cross agency service centers offering one stop shopping and ability to cut through red tape may not seem like much against the backdrop of the terrible tragedy unfolding in Puerto Rico and the other areas affected by recent hurricanes, but they can make a huge difference in the lives of the affected families.”
“Those individuals and families affected by these natural disasters need our help, and that includes being prepared to assist those who decided to leave their homes and come to New York City. This service center will provide those seeking refuge from these disasters with a one-stop shop for critical services, and I appreciate Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to make life a little bit easier for those who are being forced from their homes due to these natural disasters,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix W Ortiz said, “We must do all we can to assist our friends and relatives recovering from Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria. In addition to our ongoing efforts to send supplies, medicine and food to Puerto Rico, Mexico and other communities seeking to recover, we should also be prepared to welcome those without homes to New York. Friendly service centers are a step in the right direction to help our brothers and sisters. Our efforts are far from over.”