2012-12-12 / Front Page

Borough President Marshall Launches Mobile Disaster Relief Information Center

On December 12, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall launched a mobile Disaster Relief Information Center at Beach 116th Street and Rockaway Beach Blvd.  The Center provides individual assistance to residents and business owners affected by Hurricane Sandy. I will be located at Ocean Bay Houses (Beach 54th Street and Beach Channel Drive) on Saturday between 10 am and 4 pm. 


The CUNY on Wheels bus, purchased with funds provided by Borough President Helen Marshall, will be the base of operations.  Borough President Helen Marshall said, “This is an effort to reach people who need assistance in responding to FEMA denials and navigating the Federal, State and City and non-profit services available to them.  I thank Kaufman Astoria Studios for their generosity in funding the operation of this unique and much-needed service.”


The mobile center includes 14 computer terminals providing internet access and will be staffed by information specialists and lawyers who will provide individualized services and information.   CUNY staff will be on board to link residents to the registration and applications process. 


The mobile Disaster Relief Information Center will be deployed three days a week throughout Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaway peninsula for a minimum of two months. The initial schedule will include Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.  The daily location of the bus will be determined according to need and publicized prior to deployment. 


"We have seen the hardships our Queens community has gone through over the last six weeks and wanted to give back with a tangible program that would help our neighbors most impacted by this storm. The Mobile Disaster Relief Information Center launched by the Borough President's office will help thousands of people navigate the FEMA process so they can start to move forward and rebound stronger than ever," said Hal Rosenbluth, President of Kaufman Astoria Studios.


Technical assistant partners will include: The City University of New York, The Mayor’s Office, NYC Department of Small Business Services/Business Solutions Centers, NYC Economic Development Corporation, the US Small Business Administration/Small Business Development Centers, Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation, Queens Legal Services and the Queens County Bar Association’s Queens Volunteer Project.


“Travelling with the Borough President’s mobile Disaster Relief Information Center will allow us to bring free legal assistance to people still coping with the effects of Sandy,” said Mark Weliky, Pro Bono Coordinator and Executive Director of the Queens County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project. “Working with the professionals on the Borough President’s staff will maximize our ability to help residents of Queens through the recovery.”


For more information about the Mobile Disaster Relief Information Center contact Melva Miller, Borough President Office Director of Economic Development at (718) 286-2655 or MMiller@queensbp.org.


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