Article – Why there are no Red Cross shelters in New York City
Posted on November 21, 2012
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But that shelter operation never came to pass, and volunteers were told that the Red Cross would not be needing shelter workers. In the meantime, images of New York City’s many devastated neighborhoods filled nightly newscasts; and the housing situation for many New Yorkers grew increasingly dire. The city has estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 residents could be homeless or forced to live in unheated homes with no running water or power. The conditions are particularly deplorable in the high rises that dot the landscape near the waterfront in Brooklyn and Queens. About 5,200 Staten Islanders have applied for FEMA housing, but according to the New York Post only 24 or so have been placed.
Criticism has rained down on the Red Cross for not providing places for this mass of displaced people to live, but it seems that the aid organization is not permitted to set up shelters in the city due to a snarl of red tape.
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Moral of the story is, even if there are groups predicated on disaster services, and they get to the scene, and local governemnt has plans as well, there’s no guarantee anything is going to get done. You’re far better off preparing on your own.
Which, really, brings me to something I’ve been curious about. Everyone is related to everyone in NYC. Big Catholic, Jewish, Italian, Irish families with relatives spread all over the place….why are these people not staying with relatives?
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I’m not fan of “Big Charity” — Red Cross, United Way, any of the institutional charities — but I don’t fault them for not being able to get anything done
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