Some Borough Residents Remain Homeless, Miserable

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Recovery has been rougher in some areas than others in the year after Superstorm Sandy.

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As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, Staten Island made headlines for months for the damage its residents suffered in the storm. Smith returned to the borough to check on some families and see how they were coping.

In many areas, the situation has not really improved. Paula Simone has been living in her sister’s basement with her sons while her Midland Beach home still sits uninhabitable.

Simone gave $75,000 in insurance money and her life savings to a contractor, and said she has not heard from the contractor in six months.

“I can’t locate him. He’s not answering his phone,” Simone said. “His business phone was disconnected. I’m out of a house. My husband had a stroke.”

Domenick Camerada did not have any insurance, and his New Dorp Beach homoe remained in sad shape a year after Sandy. CBS 2 met him just after the storm in dire need.

Camerada still does not know how he will find the money to rebuild and meet new insurance standards.

“It may cost me over $10,000 a year for flood insurance, and to borrow $60,000 to put the house back together,” Camerada said. “Do I find any enjoyment in life anymore? Not really. It’s just trying to get to normalcy after the storm.”

Lisa Porazzo cried for help last November at a heated town hall meeting about her decimated house.

“When you first walk in, it’s just devastating to see,” she said at the meeting.

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CSB 2 checked back on her to find the once-boarded up home in New Dorp Beach has been demolished. Porazzo and her family have bought a new house, paid for with insurance and their life savings.

And Frankie Paoli, 4, melted everyone’s hearts the day after Sandy, when he was found shivering and scared with his family in a Red Cross parking lot getting packaged food.

“It’s like they forgot about us,” Frankie’s mother said at the time. Frankie was cold and tired, but was wearing a Superman shirt in hopes that he could “be strong like Superman.”

Frankie still wears his Superman shirts, and will not soon forget Superstorm Sandy.

He remembers the cold in particular.

Frankie’s family has its Oakwood house up for sale, in fear of it all happening again.

“I just want to forget it at some point, but for them, it’s the hardest,” his mother said. “They’ll never forget it.”

While some areas looked like a war zone but have since returned largely to normal, such is not the case for everyone.

“A year later and I’m still homeless,” Simone said.

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