On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit the coast of New York and New Jersey and killed 71 people, destroyed thousands of homes, and left millions without electricity. Rebuilding after a disaster is a long process, and we have been there since the beginning on the Jersey shore, helping elderly, disabled, and low-income families get back on their feet and back in their homes.
Our Superstorm Sandy reconstruction program wrapped up at the end of 2016, after four years of relief work in the area and 49 homes repaired or rebuilt. After our last team, we took time to remember some of the families we helped:
Jim and Mary, both in their 70s, lost everything in the storm. After three years of shuttling among their children’s homes, they finally were able to move back into their home that was rebuilt by IRT volunteers.
Palma’s house had been submerged in water and the front porch had floated a block away. She never imagined she could lose everything in just one night. Palma and her family were displaced for over three years. She says that without the IRT volunteers who rebuilt her home, she would still be homeless.
Anthony and his family lived on the second floor of their house for several months after the storm hit because the first floor was damaged by flood waters. After his kids kept getting sick he discovered mold in the wet walls. Our dedicated volunteers repaired Anthony’s home and now his family has a safe and healthy place to live.