Cuomo unveils $38.5 million Sandy aid program

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A new $38.5 million state program will offer residents of Nassau, Suffolk and other New York counties impacted by superstorm Sandy help in navigating an array of available recovery services, officials said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the program, run in conjunction with Catholic Charities, provides more than 200 service coordinators to assist individuals and families.

"As recovery from Sandy continues, we're entering a critical phase where direct one-on-one service will provide survivors with the assistance they need to get their lives back in order," Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday.

The Disaster Case Management Program covers "every facet" of recovery assistance to ensure that people hit hard by the Oct. 29 storm have their needs addressed "efficiently and effectively," he said.

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, said the coordinators will become a "portal of help and hope."

"Having a single point of contact to explain the breadth of services and help navigate the system can be a tremendous help to individuals and families trying to recover from Sandy's devastation," he said.

Many people eligible for aid may not be aware of the range of services being offered by local, state and federal agencies. Officials said the new program's coordinators -- stationed in the 13 hardest-hit counties -- will serve as a lifeline.

The program is open to anyone with unmet needs related to Sandy, including people who have not applied to FEMA for federal assistance.

Call 855-258-0483 for locations and service providers' contact information. A full list can also be found online at catholiccharitiesny.org.

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