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St. Francis Church Helping As Basic Needs Still A Struggle In Rockaways After Sandy

Homes destroyed or damaged by Sandy in Belle Harbor, Queens - Nov. 6, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Homes destroyed or damaged by Sandy in Belle Harbor, Queens – Nov. 6, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - For some in the Rockaways, it’s their third week without power following superstorm Sandy. Some have power back, but life is still a struggle.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

Many stores are closed and people from Far Rockaway are walking 50 to 60 blocks to line up for food at St. Francis De Sales Parish in Belle Harbor.

They’re serving thousands of meals everyday in a large white tent where people can also get mental health counseling, legal aide, help from the utilities, and even a free massage.

Monsignor John Brown is expanding his relief efforts, opening another help center on Beach 95th Street.

“I think we’re at the second stage of all this. After the emergency stage, I think now we’re at the kind of the simple rebuilding stage, getting the houses ready. It’s going to take a while before all these neighborhoods are anywhere near where they used to be,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.

They still need donations: food, cleaning supplies, warm blankets, and coats, though they are asking for no other clothing.

Resident Bruce Bernfeld said he appreciates all the caring volunteers.

“Guys from Utah, Mormons from Utah, bus loads of kids from Yeshiva University,” he said.

Out in the streets, you can hear hammers. Snow shovels scoop up sand. Swamped cars with foggy windows are awaiting insurance adjusters.

It’s all stressful, according to resident Tom Hannon.

“More emotional now than in the beginning,” he said. “The phyiscal is getting better, but the emotional is gettign worse.”

The church is located at 129-16 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Belle Harbor, NY 11694. You can call them at 718-634-6464.