March 28, 2014

Over Two Weeks Later: Red Cross East Harlem Response
Red Cross

More than two weeks after the tragic explosion and building collapse in East Harlem, the American Red Cross is continuing to assist those affected. It is doing so by collaborating with its city and community partners – including the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Safe Horizon, Union Settlement and LSA Family Health Service – to help the community and residents in their recovery. The Red Cross is also transitioning casework to long-term recovery partners, and it will continue to offer mental health assistance and support to the community.

Additionally, over the past several days, the Red Cross has provided move-in assistance kits containing non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and more to 41 families who have returned to their homes.

Here’s the snapshot of the overall response between March 12 and March 23:

  • The Red Cross Emergency Operations Center was in operation and fully staffed 24/7 from the time of the collapse on March 12 through Sunday, March 23.
  • More than 338 adults and children were comforted and assisted by Red Cross caseworkers at NYC resident service centers.
  • Over 100 volunteers from across the Greater NY Region responded to the call to help those affected.
  • Over 20,000 meals, snacks and beverages have been served to residents and first responders.
  • Between March 12 and March 14, more than 70 residents overnighted at the Red Cross operated shelter at the Salvation Army facility (for a total of 121 shelter stays; i.e., some of those 70 residents stayed more than one night).
  • Dozens of children received solace and safe haven at the Red Cross shelter, with a little extra help from the Good Dog Foundation therapy dogs in conjunction with the ASPCA.
  • Nearly 500 blankets and personal hygiene comfort kits have been distributed. Comfort kits contain toiletries including soap, toothbrushes, face clothes, toothpaste, deodorant and additional items.
  • Red Cross Client Assistance staff has connected with more than 20 families in need of mental health and/or physical health support.

Red Crossers have been working day-in and day-out to help residents affected by this tragedy,” said Josh Lockwood, Regional CEO, Greater New York Red Cross. “We are proud to be there to assist these New Yorkers at their time of need.”

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.

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