Thousands of New Yorkers displaced after Sandy

Entrance to the post-Sandy shelter in the High School of Graphic Communications Arts on Manhattan’s West Side.

Red Cross volunteers at the post-Sandy shelter at the High School of Graphic Communications Arts on Manhattan’s West Side.

It’s hard enough to find a place to live in New York at a good time. Hurricane Sandy is making that a lot worse. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city will need to find housing for 30,000 to 40,000 people.

Outside the High School of Graphic Communications Arts on Manhattan’s West Side, there are two New Yorks post-Sandy. On one side of the gates, dog-walkers and runners are starting their day. On the other side, hundreds of displaced and homeless New Yorkers are waiting to find out where to go next.

“Well, they’re feeding us,” says Jamel Goodridge. He’s been at the temporary shelter since last week. He says many displaced by the storm wound up here. “Some person lost everything. Crying, kids, sad,” says Goodridge.

The shelter has had issues with sanitation and safety. John Morales and his wife came here when the storm hit their home on the city’s far east side. He said the place was disgusting at times.

“I went to the bathroom and I saw one guy defecating in the sink,” Morales says.

Red Cross volunteers estimate nearly 1,000 were housed here a couple of nights ago. That’s down to about 200 now, as some find new shelters or return home. By Wednesday, they’ll be gone and this school will again be a school.

Still, Mayor Bloomberg estimates about 20,000 people will need housing longer-term.

Red Cross volunteers at the post-Sandy shelter at the High School of Graphic Communications Arts on Manhattan’s West Side.

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