TOMS RIVER — A nearly $1.5 million grant from the Robin Hood Foundation will allow a Sandy advocacy group to continue helping storm victims through 2017.
“I am bursting at the seams so I am not going to delay anymore,” Sue Marticek, executive director of the Ocean County Long-Term Recovery Group said at the start of the organization’s monthly meeting. “We have actually had three funders come forward.”
The long-term recovery group, an umbrella organization of about 80 nonprofits, will receive $1.485 million from the Robin Hood Foundation, $25,000 from the Ocean First Foundation, and $50,000 from the Community Foundation of New Jersey.
Marticek said last month that she feared the long-term recovery group would have to close its doors in December if more funding was not received, even though she believes the county is only “about halfway through the recovery.”
Homeowners frequently find that they are short several thousand dollars at the end of the rebuilding process.
The new influx of funds will help the group provide about $1 million to help homeowners get back home by bridging the funding gaps that frequently exist between the amount of grant and insurance monies a Sandy victim receives, and the actual amount of money they need to move back into their house.
A non-profit builders group that has also been assisting homeowners here will receive $1.45 million from the Robin Hood Foundation, Marticek said.
“Because of the efforts of the nonprofits, we have over $2 million extra to give out in 2017,” Marticek said.
The Ocean County group has also held a series of free workshops to help answer homeowners’ questions about the state’s signature recovery program for homeowners, the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program.
As the only long-term recovery group still operating in New Jersey, the Ocean County group also hosted workshops throughout the state to assist homeowners interested in reopening their flood insurance claims.
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Homeowners frequently find that they are short several thousand dollars at the end of the rebuilding process, Marticek has said. Four years after the storm, hundreds of homeowners here continue to struggle: Marticek estimates that Ocean County is “about halfway through the recovery.”
The long-term recovery group has distributed more than $6 million to help Sandy victims since it was formed in the aftermath of the 2012 storm, and has assisted more than 2,300 Ocean County families.
Ocean County had the most Sandy damage in the state: more than 40,000 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by the storm.
Jean Mikle: (732) 643-4050, firstname.lastname@example.org