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Red Tape Keeps Red Cross Shelters Out Of NYC

From Fortune Magazine:

Why there are no Red Cross shelters in New York City

The relief organization isn’t permitted to set up shelters in New York City, thanks to a snarl of bureaucracy and red tape. Meanwhile, 20,000 residents remain displaced after Sandy’s devastation.

By Katie Benner | November 15, 2012

FORTUNE — What has been conspicuously absent from the areas of New York City hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy are shelters set up by the American Red Cross, an organization that as part of its mission statement provides shelter in times of disaster. The organization states in its shelter operations manual: "When large groups of people are temporarily displaced from their homes, the American Red Cross responds by opening and operating shelters." …

The city has estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 residents could be homeless or forced to live in unheated homes with no running water or power. The conditions are particularly deplorable in the high rises that dot the landscape near the waterfront in Brooklyn and Queens. About 5,200 Staten Islanders have applied for FEMA housing, but according to the New York Post only 24 or so have been placed.

Criticism has rained down on the Red Cross for not providing places for this mass of displaced people to live, but it seems that the aid organization is not permitted to set up shelters in the city due to a snarl of red tape.

The shelter system in New York City works hand-in-hand with the city’s public schools, according to city officials who spoke with Fortune. (The city has a network of dozens of shelters in schools across the five boroughs; only 7 are currently open.) The only people with access to the schools are city employees, and so the shelter system can only be operated by the city

That is, by public sector union employees.

"The city is trying to not have shelters be a permanent housing situation," a city official says. "Instead, we are trying to find longer-term living conditions that residents can sustain on their own…"

Really? Is that why one plan involved moving 900 Staten Island refugees into a now closed prison?

And for the tens of thousands who have been living for weeks without heat, running water, electricity, and in some cases homes, the strange relationship forged between the city and the Red Cross has literally left them in the cold.

But there will be no outrage from the news media, because Democrats are running the show. So Sandy must be portrayed as an amazing success at all costs.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, November 16th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Red Tape Keeps Red Cross Shelters Out Of NYC”

  1. Right of the People

    “The city is trying to not have shelters be a permanent housing situation,” a city official says. “Instead, we are trying to find longer-term living conditions that residents can sustain on their own…”

    Translation: In the mean time they can live like it was 1599 until we’re good and ready to place them. What do they need light, heat and water for anyway?

  2. yadayada

    “The city is trying to not have shelters be a permanent housing situation,” a city official says. “Instead, we are trying to find longer-term living conditions that residents can sustain on their own…”

    wrong on soooo many levels.
    temporary shelter – by definition not “permanent housing situation.”
    longer-term living condition – opposite of what he said in the preceeding sentence ?
    longer-term … sustain on their own? – how long do they want them to stay there ?

    it sounds like this is being intentionally dragged out so as to force the gov’t teat into the mouth of the poor disaffected public, rather than allowing an established and somewhat better organized business do what they are there for.

  3. canary

    The Red Cross should not be trusted. NY should have learned that 9/11




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