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AmeriCorps Here To Stay In New Jersey For Sandy Relief

In the almost seven months since Sandy came ashore, one federal program has been helping residents put their lives back together.  The good news?  They are not going anywhere.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced new AmeriCorps resources for New Jersey that will help communities to continue the recovery and rebuilding operations after Superstorm Sandy, which hit last October 29th.  Last Friday, representatives from both CNCS and AmeriCorps staffers and volunteers were on hand for the big announcement in Toms River.

It was held in The People’s Pantry facility on Fischer Boulevard in the township.  Third District Congressman Jon Runyan was there as was Berkeley Mayor Carmen Amato and several other leaders from local communities.

Congressman Jon Runyan stops by the People's Pantry
Congressman Jon Runyan stops by the People’s Pantry (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

A portion of the AmeriCorps members will help families regain economic stability by guiding them through the financial relief process.  Additional members will work with local small business owners as they apply for loans through a similar process.  Others will serve with Habitat for Humanity helping those who lost their homes or suffered damage, rebuild them.

CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer tells Townsquare Media News, “we are so happy that the funding is in place to keep us in the state.  It is so important to continue with the recovery process which is expected to take many years.”

The common misconception floating around is that Jersey is totally up and running again after Sandy.  While the boardwalks will be ready in time for Memorial Day, there are still thousands who have no place to go.  Spencer adds “not everything is ready.  Not everything is good again.  We have seen the destruction and these people need help.  We aren’t leaving anytime soon.”

The funding is in place for AmeriCorps to be in the Garden State for at least another year.

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