Community Leader Says 'People Are Completely Struggling'

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – More help is coming for Long Island residents still struggling from superstorm Sandy.

A new group called ‘Friends of Long Island’ plans to raise $500,000 to help up to 100 people get back into their Sandy-ravaged homes.

The group is made up of local residents and community leaders like Eric Alexander.

“People are completely struggling,” Alexander told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “We’re out volunteering so we see it each week. What we want to do is put a public spotlight on what’s happening to folks in local communities and lend a hand, put our shoulders to the wheel.”

A Long Beach resident is among those still left in limbo more than five months after the storm hit. John McNally’s home is still destroyed and he said he doesn’t have the funds to get it properly repaired.

“About a month ago our contractor told us we were three weeks from getting back in. And a week after that, we received a letter from FEMA and the city saying that they had gone around and done inspections and that our house had received more than 50 percent damage, so we either needed to elevate or demolish the home,” McNally told Hall.

He said he doesn’t have the $75,000 dollars to elevate the home.

Alexander said McNally is exactly the type of Long Island homeowner they’re looking to assist.

“There’s not one resource that’s going to do something for everybody. You need to leverage a lot of different resources – there might be a little FEMA money here, a little insurance money there. There might be the Rotary Club comes up with some money. It might be something we raise that could help. So it’s going to be triage,” said Alexander.

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