FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – At the hurricane relief center at Farmingdale State College, all kinds of help is available – everything from legal services, financial advice, and food, even counseling for the stress of it all.
WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story
“Whether you lost your house or whether you haven’t been working a few weeks, you have been impacted by the disaster and there are mental health components that come up with that,” said Gwen O’Shea with the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island.
“We know that also after a disaster what ends up happening is any previous issues you may have had before – substance abuse, mental health, drug and alcohol issues – a disaster re-engages some of those different issues that we were struggling with,” she told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.
Island Harvest CEO Randy Dresner said one woman was helped by something so simple.
“I said to her, ‘How about a hug?’ She grabbed me and we gave each other this huge hug. There were tears flowing everywhere,” she said.
This center is open through Saturday at Roosevelt Hall, 2350 Broadhollow Road from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A free shuttle is available from Gemellis Market and Amityville High School.
The New York Bar Association also says volunteer lawyers are offering up to 30 minutes of free advice to victims of Superstorm Sandy with legal problems.
Association President Seymour James Jr. says they know the need will be great in the coming weeks to answer storm-related questions about issues including insurance, landlord-tenant and property disputes, replacing documents and appealing rejections for emergency assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Callers can get the name and phone number of a volunteer attorney by dialing 1-800-699-5636 toll-free.
The association says storm victims will be eligible for a free legal consultation for up to 30 minutes, either by phone or in person.
Attorneys willing to volunteer can contact the association through its website.
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