Wrapping up a successful spring season with Ida Community Meetings

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Over the last few months, we hosted a series of community meetings for Hurricane Ida survivors across hard-hit areas, including Manville, Somerville, Bergen County, Milford, and virtually – along with some amazing partner organizations who hosted meetings across Newark, Elizabeth, and Hudson County. Armed with information about the state’s newly-released grant programs, alongside our own past experience fighting for a fair Superstorm Sandy recovery, we brought folks together to answer questions, provide support, and build community as we all try to make it home and whole.

First and foremost, here are the resources you should make sure to check out if you’re in the process of recovering from Hurricane Ida:

  • Applications for state recovery grant programs are here. The Homeowner Assistance and Recovery Program (HARP) closed their applications on May 1. Renters, you still have until June 1 to apply for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA) – and small landlords, you still have until June 5 to apply for the Small Rental Repair Program (SRRP).
  • Download and read our Hurricane Ida program explainer, available in Spanishopens PDF file or Englishopens PDF file . If you weren’t able to come to a community meeting, all of the information we shared is in this explainer. We break it down to explain each of the state programs in a way that’s easy to understand.
  • Connect with a disaster case manager by calling 732-860-5086 or emailing idarecovery@gnjumc.orgcreate new email. Disaster case managers can provide support and/or resources to help you navigate the disaster recovery process. We highly advise all Ida survivors to connect with a case manager!
  • Keep up to date with Ida-related news, including ways you can take action and get involved with the fight for a fair recovery, by subscribing to the New Jersey Organizing Project’s email list.

In Newark, the Ironbound Community Corporation hosted a presentation in the Ironbound, while the South Ward Environmental Alliance and Clinton Hill Community Action brought folks together in Clinton Hill. Make the Road New Jersey joined us in downtown Elizabeth, with Spanish interpretation offered by Luis Lopez. The New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance brought us together online for another event in both English and Spanish.

We’d also like to shout out the volunteers, members, and hosts without which none of this would have been possible. Thank you to Rosie, Tom, and Dency for hosting and feeding us at the Milford House in Hunterdon County and to Fran, Harolyn, and the volunteers from the NJ Flood Coalition for bringing together our Bergen County meeting from start to finish.

We had around 700 attendees total across all of these meetings, both online and in person, many of whom brought us important questions about the programs available for Ida recovery (including state grants and loans, Blue Acres buyouts, insurance, and FEMA). We worked together with Blue Acres, case managers, and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the state agency responsible for administering grant programs, to answer them, and built out our big Q&A on Ida recovery – which you can find right here.

These partners were also there at every single one of these meetings to help survivors connect with the resources they needed, so a special thank you goes out to Alvin Chin, Courtney Wald-Wittkop, and Brian Caycho from Blue Acres; Andrea Wren-Hardin, Raul Nombrera-Bueno, and all of the United Methodist’s disaster case managers; Sam Viavattine, Deputy Commissioner at the NJ DCA, and the entire DCA team who did so much to help us answer questions.

Thank you all!

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