News / USA

New York Shelters Help Displaced Amid Challenges

Jesus Flores, whose home was flooded by storm surge, is grateful to city for emergency shelter and food. (VOA photo - A. Phillips)Jesus Flores, whose home was flooded by storm surge, is grateful to city for emergency shelter and food. (VOA photo - A. Phillips)
x
Jesus Flores, whose home was flooded by storm surge, is grateful to city for emergency shelter and food. (VOA photo - A. Phillips)
Jesus Flores, whose home was flooded by storm surge, is grateful to city for emergency shelter and food. (VOA photo - A. Phillips)
Adam Phillips
With limited subway and bus service restored, the hardship caused by flooding and power outages in New York City has begun to ease since Monday night, when Hurricane Sandy struck the U.S. East Coast.  But for thousands of residents from low-lying areas in New York who were evacuated to temporary shelters, the dislocation and struggle continue.

Outside a Manhattan public high school, whose gymnasium has been turned into a shelter for up to 100 displaced storm victims, Jesus Flores says he is grateful to shelter workers, volunteers and the city.

“They give me very good help.  They give me [a] bed.  They give me a blanket.  They give me food, everything.  And I feel comfortable because I have a place to stay, and I can make it.  It’s a good thing,” Flores said.

Like Flores, a Lower East Side resident named Jeffrey is grateful for the shelter, but says life there is hard.

“It’s uncomfortable for me.  I can’t sleep well.  I can’t go into the refrigerator like I do.  I can’t cook my own food.  I have to be supplied food.  And we don’t know how long we’re gonna stay here either.  It’s bad,” Jeffrey said.

Linda Hilton is haunted by memories of Monday afternoon, when she was ordered to evacuate her apartment in advance of Hurricane Sandy.
 
“So I just packed up my necessary things like meds, myself, my coat and just rushed out of the house and I got on the bus.  And the storm came, and lights were all dark and it was raining, and they told me down in my area is flooded.  I’m still waiting for them to put on the light.  Once they fix everything, I’ll be safe and happy to go home,” Hilton said.

Joseph, Felix and Jeffrey (l to r) have been staying in a temporary shelter since Monday night, when Hurricane Sandy struck. (VOA photo - A. Phillips)Joseph, Felix and Jeffrey (l to r) have been staying in a temporary shelter since Monday night, when Hurricane Sandy struck. (VOA photo - A. Phillips)
x
Joseph, Felix and Jeffrey (l to r) have been staying in a temporary shelter since Monday night, when Hurricane Sandy struck. (VOA photo - A. Phillips)
Joseph, Felix and Jeffrey (l to r) have been staying in a temporary shelter since Monday night, when Hurricane Sandy struck. (VOA photo - A. Phillips)
One man, Felix, was part of a longstanding homeless camp downtown that was dispersed by police hours before the storm.  

“So some people we have not seen since Sunday, and it’s kind of nerve-wracking,” Felix said.

Life inside the shelter can be nerve-wracking, says a city shelter staff member who requested anonymity because he is forbidden to speak with the press.

“When you have people living in cramped spaces for any length of time, there are going to be tensions.  We have families on one side and on the other we have the street population, the homeless.  We have a big problem with certain individuals, I would say [the] street population, and they have substance abuse problems and they’ve been very problematic to say the least,” Shelter said.   

The shelter has been inundated with volunteers, and food and clothing donations from neighborhood well-wishers like Rebecca Garfein-Gellman.

“You feel a little helpless in a situation we’ve just had in our city.  And to be able to do something for someone else, it makes me feel a little better.  My heart is very broken right now,” Grafein-Fellman said.

Officials are not sure whether this shelter and others like it will remain open once the schools in which they are housed reopen.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid