Story: Red Cross Helps Staten Island Nurse Return Home

As a registered nurse, Rosemarie Hall is used to taking care of others; but after Superstorm Sandy, she credits the American Red Cross with helping take care of her.

“I’m so grateful for the Red Cross because I was really in a bad situation,” Hall said. “They showed me hope.”

Hall has lived in her refurbished, 1930s three-bedroom Staten Island bungalow for seven years.

Like many New Yorkers in 2011, her home didn’t sustain much damage from Hurricane Irene, so she decided she would not evacuate for Sandy.

Hall was home the night Sandy blew into her southeast Staten Island neighborhood located just blocks from the water and Midland Beach.

“I was looking out the window, and I watched the flood come through,” she said. “The water in the street was three feet high.”

Hall’s heating unit and water heater are located in a room built onto the side of the home. When Sandy made landfall, water began to pour into the utility room.

“I watched my deck fill up, I watched my heating system fill up,” she said. “It all got destroyed.”

The water also crept into the living area of her home through the crawlspace. In the end, her heating system, water heater, refrigerator, dishwasher, couch, and many of her belongings were damaged.

She spent six weeks in evacuation centers and a shelter, then five months in a hotel.

Hall would return to her home to clean what she could and recover from the storm.

“The Red Cross gave me a disaster package, a mold kit, and I came here. I scrubbed the floors and it helped it from growing up in here,” Hall said.

Red Cross Case Manager Kevin Rivero was assigned to Hall’s case and determined she would be a good candidate for the Red Cross Move-In Assistance Program.

The program works with families displaced by Sandy to move them back into sustainable housing. Eligible, Sandy-affected residents may receive up to $10,000 for expenses, including home repairs, rent, security deposit, moving costs, brokerage fees, temporary housing/or furniture and appliances and more.

The generosity of donors allowed the Red Cross to be able to provide Hall with funds for a new heating system, water heater, new refrigerator, dishwasher and new couch.

“Thank you to the Red Cross and to all who donated to the Red Cross,” she said. “Because of you, I’m back in my home.”

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