Superstorm Continues to Displace Thousands From Ocean County
A nonprofit group, aimed at helping low income Ocean County residents, reports that thousands are still displaced and are suffering following Superstorm Sandy.
On WOBM-AM's Townsquare Tonight, O.C.E.A.N., Inc. President and CEO Ted Gooding said the Superstorm displaced 55,000 Ocean County residents forcing many to leave for other states. Infact, Gooding estimates that anywhere from 20 to 25,000 residents have still not gotten back into their homes and it is causing an increase in mental health issues.
"We know that we had families displaced as far south as Miami, as far west as Cleveland Ohio, as far north as Rhode Island and every town between here and Florida just about we see families from Ocean County, explains Gooding."
Gooding says since 1969 O.C.E.A.N Inc.'s main goal is to help local families become more self sufficient. Through the help of Federal, State and Private funding sources, the non profit offers a host of programs that offer grants for rental and mortgage assistance, residential weatherization, energy assistance and even childcare for income eligible residents. However, he notes that the Superstorm has made housing the biggest area of need. If a family has been displaced, Gooding explains, "We can pay up to $5,000 towards that family getting settled some place in our community."
He also notes O.C.E.A.N. Inc.'s collaboration with other agencies that help meet needs that go well beyond their offerings.
He says next week, the state is launching a program that can help New Jersey residents regardless of income with housing and with purchasing domestic products. You contact O.C.E.A.N Inc. on line at oceaninc.org. or O.C.E.A.N., Inc., 40 Washington Street - P.O. Box 1029, Toms River, NJ 08753 or call 732-244-5333.