Devastation. It’s the only word to describe what Hurricane Sandy’s effect was on Long Island. While many of us suffered some misery losing power for a week or two, friends and neighbors lost their homes or their jobs or even worst – their lives. It’s hard to say when some towns will recover.
The housing situation on Long Island has taken a tumble due to the storm’s impact. An estimated 600,000 homes in the tri-state area were damaged or lost. Many people will have to start over while others are homeless.
“Hurricane Sandy has had a tremendous impact on the already tight housing market on Long Island,” said Greta Guarton, Executive Director for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. “With tens of thousands of housing units damaged or destroyed, it is extremely difficult for Long Islanders to find adequate housing.”
While the property destruction was significant and the emotional damage was severe, many helping hearts have beat with unconditional love from nearby and afar. Here in our beautiful, small village of Northport, the music students of our high school will share their voices and skills to raise money for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, a group that has served us over the past several decades.
Led by music director Izzet Mergen’s desire to inspire, the talented students will perform two winter concerts on Dec. 19th and 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium in an effort to help those in need. “I think it’s important that our students be involved and aware of what has happened,” said Mergen. “We have a wonderful music program here in Northport and what better way to help others than through their talents.”
The music honor society will be collecting donations on both evenings. I will be donating copies of my books and all proceeds will go to helping the LICH and our community.
“Many of those who permanently lost their homes were the ones who were already on the fringes -- those who had been lucky enough to rent small apartments in their landlord’s homes,” said Guarton. “Those apartments have now been destroyed, and many landlords have opted to make improvements that will price their former tenants out of their homes. We are trying to find affordable, safe housing for thousands of Long Islanders.”
I hope you can join us on Dec. 19th or Dec. 20th, Wednesday or Thursday, at Northport High School. The music students at Northport High School are among the best in the world. They work very hard each year to perform wonderful concerts.
Certainly, their hearts and compassion are unsurpassed.