Thursday, June 12, 2014

Homecoming for Staten Island Family Displaced by Sandy

On June 11, 2014, the American Red Cross gathered with other organizations including the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and New York Disaster Interfaith Services to welcome home the Auer family of Staten Island, nearly twenty months after Sandy’s landfall. To see photos of the homecoming celebration, click here.

The two-bedroom bungalow of John and Laura Auer, married for 37 years, was severely damaged when Superstorm Sandy made landfall on October 29, 2012.  John’s parents had purchased the home in 1938 and it had been passed down in the family.

“When my husband and son dragged me out, the water was up to my chest,” Laura Auer said. “When it was all said and done it was way over my head.”

The Auer family worked with Red Cross Case Manager Chris Losavio who helped them navigate resources available for people affected by Sandy.

“When I met Chris he said, ‘I’m not letting you go until we get things going.’ If it wasn’t for Chris, I would not be home because he got the ball rolling,” Laura Auer said.

Thanks to generous donations from the American public, the Red Cross, working in partnership with Tunnel to Towers and New York Disaster Interfaith Services, assisted the family both in making the needed repairs to their home, and in purchasing new furniture and appliances, making it habitable once again.

Losavio organized co-workers from the Red Cross who volunteered their own time to help Tunnel to Towers install flooring, windows, and trim in the home. To see photos of their work, click here.

When asked what it was like to be home, Laura Auer said:  “Awesome, I’m home. I can go to my own bed. It’s very exciting.”

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