$200M more in Sandy aid coming from feds

Shaun Johnson, 23, of Mastic, with his sister Shaun Johnson, 23, of Mastic, with his sister Didi, 4, sorts through clothing, toys, cleaning supplies and other items at a giveaway at Osprey Park in Mastic Beach for Long Islanders affected by Sandy. The donations were collected and brought there by a group from New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (Nov. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

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The state is making available $200 million in federal funds to health care, social services and mental health groups to cover expenses resulting from superstorm Sandy.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday that the groups can apply for the funding made available through a supplemental social services block grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Gwen O'Shea, chief executive of the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, said representatives of dozens of voluntary health and human services agencies are meeting Friday in Bethpage partly to discuss applying for the funds. Many, she said, went through their funding in the immediate aftermath of Sandy, but continue to provide services.

"They need the money," she said. "The challenge is that this is a long-term issue. It's a marathon, not a sprint."

Long Island, she said, was hard-hit by the storm and "we want to make sure appropriate dollars go to Long Island agencies."

Applicants can apply for funding to cover:

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Unreimbursed costs of building repairs, rebuilding and renovation for child-care providers, health and mental hygiene facilities, senior centers and other health and human services facilities.

Reimbursement for child care, health, mental health, behavioral health, employment, senior focused and costs of lost and damaged materials.

Reimbursement to food banks and food pantries.

Enhanced child care, food/nutrition, health, mental health, behavioral health, employment, legal, senior focused, volunteer coordination, and case management for ongoing needs of Sandy-impacted residents.

Equipment and supplies needed to deliver services in Sandy-impacted areas.

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"These organizations serve the needs of many of the state's most vulnerable residents," Cuomo said in a prepared statement. "This funding will provide the support they need to continue helping their communities."

For more information and a link to the application, go to: nysandyhelp.ny.gov/content/ sandy-social-services-block-grant-ssbg-funding

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