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:: NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable Distributes $1.4M in 2007

NYDISnetIn 2007, the NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable (UNR) distributed $1,469,584 in financial assistance to 283 clients with unmet needs directly related to the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. This accomplishment represents a 59% increase in funds distributed and a 61% increase in clients served compared to 2006. In addition to the financial assistance provided directly by the Roundtable, NYDIS distributed 4,429 transportation vouchers—more than four times the amount distributed in 2006—to ill rescue, recovery, and clean-up workers participating in the Mount Sinai World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program.

The Roundtable addresses critical, short-term financial needs of 9/11-impacted individuals on the road to sustainable, long-term recovery. Over 65% of the money distributed in 2007 went to rent and mortgage payments. Other money covered professional training, utilities, food, and transportation costs. 2007 Roundtable Donors included the American Red Cross, God’s Love is Needed Now Fund, Lutheran Disaster Response of New York (LDRNY), NYDIS, the Orthodox Church in America, and Safe Horizon.

NYDIS also awarded $500,000 in case management grants to the following partners: Associacion Tepeyac de New York, Lutheran Social Services of New York, Hamilton Madison House—Chinatown Resource Center, The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Islamic Circle of North America—Relief, and Unitas/St. Mark’s Place Institute of Mental Health.
:: NYDIS to Host 9/11 Health Impacts and Medical Benefits Training

On Thursday, January 24, NYDIS will host a 9/11 Medical and Mental Health Impacts Training for 9/11 case managers. This two-part training includes presentations and a panel discussion from medical and mental health providers in the morning, followed by an afternoon presentation by Urban Justice Center on the New York State Hospital Financial Assistance Law benefiting low-income, uninsured individuals. The training is especially important because it will allow case managers, their supervisors, and the Unmet Needs Roundtable donors to learn about 9/11 and non-9/11 related health conditions affecting their clients, help case managers better assist clients to understand and access care for these health problems, and foster interaction between the people providing and advocating for these services both in the medical and case management communities.

For more information, contact Lida Mora, Moderator, NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable:
:: NYDIS and STAR NYC Lead Disaster Preparedness and Spiritual Care Trainings

On January 12, NYDIS and the Presbytery of New York’s Disaster Task Force provided an all-day training for 45 participants at Eastchester Presbyterian Church in the Bronx. After a morning session on disaster preparedness using Ready New York for households and congregations, STAR NYC (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience, New York City) led an afternoon seminar on emotional and spiritual care. STAR NYC is a NYDIS-sponsored program that trains faith leaders in trauma healing and community resilience.

If you would like to schedule a training for your house of worship, contact:
Ruth Wenger, Interim Coordinator of Community Outreach and Training
:: NYDIS Offers Rental of Short-Term Office Space

NYDIS has office space available for immediate short-term leasing to non-profit and/or faith-based agencies with a similar mission to NYDIS. Located on the 20th Floor of 22 Cortlandt Street in Lower Manhattan, these spaces are furnished and equipped with computers, internet connection and telephone.

For more information about renting these spaces, contact Peter Gudaitis:
:: NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable Updates
  • NYC 9/11 In-Service Training for Case Workers
    In-Service Training is required for case workers who have never presented a case at the Roundtable, and is recommended as a refresher for experienced case workers who have previously presented cases. All training sessions take place at NYDIS (map).
  • NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable Schedule
    The NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable brings together donors with agencies providing case management to 9/11 victims. Case Workers who would like to present a case must sign-up by Friday prior to the meeting of the Roundtable. Due to the influx of cases which need presenting, the 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable will be adding an additional Wednesday date each month. There will now be three meetings a month, instead of two.
    • Thursday, January 31 - 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)
    • Thursday, February 14 - 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)

    Contact Lida Mora, Moderator, NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable
  • NYC 9/11 Case Management Coordination Meetings
    NYDIS hosts monthly Case Management Coordination meetings for service providers that are assisting 9/11 recovery workers and the general 9/11-affected community. These meetings are open to representatives from any service providers that wish to coordinate and share information about their services and the community's needs.
    • Thursday, February 7 - 9:00-11:00 am

    To RSVP, contact Lida Mora:
:: NYC 9/11 Recovery Resources

A comprehensive list of news, updates and resources for 9/11 victims and injured recovery workers, updated weekly:
:: Recovery Resources for Other NYC Area Disasters
:: New National Response Framework Released by DHS

On January 22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the new National Response Framework (NRF), which replaces the National Response Plan. The NRF coordinates the efforts of Federal, State, and local governments, as well as of community organizations, to effectively respond to and recover from disasters. It also focuses on disaster preparedness at all levels of the government. To make the NRF more user-friendly and accessible, the online NRF Resource Center was created to house the NRF Documents and Annexes, as well as a brochure, fact sheet, overview, and frequently asked questions.

Visit the NRF Resource Center:
:: Family of a 9/11 Firefighter Wins Fight to Receive Death Benefits

After a five-year legal battle, the United States government no longer will prevent the family of a volunteer firefighter, Glenn J. Winuk, from receiving the $250,000 death benefit intended for the families of public safety officers who die while working. For five years, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance had argued that because Winuk was not on active duty at the time when he responded to the attack on the World Trade Center, his family would not receive the benefit.

Read the story in the January 16 New York Times: click here
:: President of WTC Captive Insurance Company Resigns

On January 9, Representatives Nadler and Maloney commented on the resignation of Christine LaSala from her position as President of the WTC Captive Insurance Company. This company was funded to help Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers without bankrupting the City and contractors. Nadler and Maloney urged the board of the company to hire a new President who will work toward that goal. They note that WTC Captive Insurance Company currently has more money than it did when it started, a sign that it is has strayed from its fundamental purpose of benefiting workers who need its help.

Read the press release from the Office of Congresswoman Maloney: click here
:: DHS Announces Final Regulations for REAL ID

On January 11, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pronounced a final regulation to establish consistent standards for drivers’ licenses across states. This latest rule strengthens the security of U.S. drivers’ licenses by linking each card with the holder’s identity and citizenship status to protect against fraud and other crime, including terrorism. DHS notes that the 9/11 hijackers had 30 fake drivers’ licenses and IDs that enabled them to board the planes. After concerns from states about the price of these new licenses, DHS was able to decrease state costs by over 70 percent. The deadline for Americans under 50 to get REAL ID licenses is December 1, 2014. For older Americans, the date is December 1, 2017.

Read the DHS press release:
:: REAL ID Rules Could Make Air Travel Difficult

Along with describing the cost cuts for states, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on January 11 that states have until May 2008 to file for a waiver if they need more time to comply with the REAL ID regulations. If a state does not file for such a waiver, its licenses may not be valid for air travel. Residents then would need to use passports instead to avoid a complicated screening process at airport security. The director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has criticized this deadline and claims DHS is using scare tactics to urge states to comply with its legislation.

Read the AP article: click here

Visit the ACLU site criticizing REAL ID:
:: View the Progress at Ground Zero

As rebuilding continues at Ground Zero, the area is really taking shape. If you haven’t viewed photos recently, the area looks nothing like the last time you’re seen it.

For the latest images of planned development, including the Freedom Tower, visit:

From Our Members & Partners

  • Bishop Griswold Named Canon for International and Interfaith Ministry

    On December 1, 2007, the Rt. Rev. Canon Frank T. Griswold, former Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, USA, was installed as Canon for International and Interfaith Ministry, a new position created by the trustees of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The position focuses on bringing people of diverse nationalities and faiths together for the purpose of promoting understanding and justice.

    Read the Press Release from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine: click here

    Contact Bishop Griswold:
    Barbara Braver, Assistant to the Bishop
  • ARC Will Cut National Staff in Response to $200M Deficit

    Due to a $200 million deficit, the American Red Cross (ARC) is getting ready to cut up to a third of its headquarters staff as well as up to 1,000 additional employees. Since 9/11, fund-raising has been a challenge for ARC, and it does not appear that the economic atmosphere will improve in 2008. However, the upcoming staff cuts will not impede the organization’s ability to continue its services, respond to disasters, and provide relief.

    Read the New York Times article: click here


  • ACLU Urges Government to Change Its Approach to Pandemic Preparedness

    On January 14, the ACLU released a report that criticizes the government’s emphasis on law enforcement and national security in its pandemic flu preparedness plans. Instead, it suggests that focusing on public health would be more beneficial for Americans. Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program, explains, “History makes clear that a heavy-handed, coercive approach to pandemics that treats the sick as potential enemies is not only an unnecessary violation of civil liberties but is also ineffective from a public health standpoint and will leave more Americans stranded, sick and untreated.”

    Read the ACLU Report:

    Read the ACLU press release:
  • NYCOSH Opposes Governmental Regulation of Environmental Detectors

    On January 8, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) and the New York City Central Labor Council (NYCCLC) released a testimony against the Bloomberg administration’s recently proposed bill, Intro 650, concerning permits for environmental detectors. The bill would require all owners of biological, chemical, or radiological detectors to obtain permits from the New York Police Department (NYPD). NYCOSH and NYCCLC’s testimony summarizes its opposition by stating, “This legislation, if enacted, would undermine efforts to protect the public health by creating substantial and unnecessary impediments to the collection of scientific data in both routine and emergency situations.”

    Read NYCOSH and NYCCLC’s testimony:

Preparedness Initiatives

  • NYDIS Preparedness Resources

    • NYDIS's Spiritual Care and Mental Health Manual

      The NYDIS Manual for New York City Religious Leaders: Spiritual Care and Mental Health for Disaster Response and Recovery is a comprehensive resource tool to enable NYC religious leaders to best serve their congregations and the public as they respond to and recover from disasters. Its 19 chapters were written by 16 disaster mental health and spiritual care experts. Organized in three sections, Preparation & Mitigation, Response & Recovery, and Reference & Resources, the Manual offers an overview of the lifecycle of disasters, discusses the role of faith leaders throughout these phases, and provides information on skill sets, training resources and effective clinical and pastoral best practices.

      Download the Manual:

  • Cold Weather Preparedness

    • OEM: Winter Health & Safety Tips
      Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm. When the temperature drops, it's important to keep your body sheltered from the air. Hypothermia's symptoms include slurred speech, sluggishness, confusion, dizziness, shallow breathing, unusual behavior, and slow, irregular heartbeat; those for frostbite include gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, and waxy feeling skin.

      Read more about cold weather safety:

    • FDNY's Fire Safety Tips: Using Heaters
      NYC's Fire Department (FDNY) warns that safe measures and precautions should always be taken to ensure a safe, warm home through the winter. Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January and February. Learn what you need to know about furnaces, space heaters, coal and wood stoves, fireplaces, and smoke detectors.

      Read FDNY’s cold weather safety tips:

  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness

    • CDC Offers Advice for People Traveling to Asia
      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people who plan to travel to Asia for the upcoming Lunar New Year or any other occasion to get an influenza vaccine before leaving. They also suggest that travelers carry hand sanitizer, avoid places that have live birds, make sure they eat fully-cooked meat and eggs, and know ahead of time what to do if they get sick while they are abroad.

      For more traveling tips from the January 14 message:

We Recommend

  • Add Your Info to www.NYDIS.org Resource Library

    Do you have a useful resource for caseworkers, recovery providers and clients that you would like to submit? The NYDIS Resource Library on our website contains a large compilation of disaster resources including downloadable documents, links to useful websites, and references to printed publications. We welcome your agency's resources, which can be posted on NYDIS.org by clicking on the "Resources" Tab. You will then find directions on how to "Submit a Resource".

  • Sign Up for "Notify NYC" Emergency Public Communications System

    OEM has been working alongside other City agencies to orchestrate Notify NYC, a new service for delivering emergency public information by email, text message, and voice message. The system provides two types of messages: notifications, which inform subscribers about an incident that could affect their area; and alerts, which offer status updates and instructions for response during a major emergency. Through a pilot program in four neighborhoods, the City is testing different ways of sending these messages to determine the most effective method for a citywide program. The four pilot communities include Lower Manhattan, the Northeast Bronx, the Rockaways, and Southwest Staten Island.

    To sign up for Notify NYC go to:

    To see a flyer about the program: click here
  • Read NIMS Basic Guidance for Public Information Officers

    The National Incident Management System (NIMS) has produced a manual, Basic Guidance for Public Information Officers (PIOs), which aims to optimize the work of PIOs at all levels of government. It provides instruction about communicating effectively during emergencies to make sure that disaster victims, the media, and the public receive reliable, up-to-date information.

    View the manual: click here
  • Documentary: "Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11"

    Featured on the Sundance Channel for independent films, the documentary “Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11” explores the aftermath of first-responders’ exposure to the smoke and chemicals present in Lower Manhattan after 9/11. While the Environmental Protection Agency declared the area was safe only days after the attacks, many rescue and recovery workers are now getting sick. Filmmaker Heidi Dehncke-Fisher and producer Bruce Kennedy examine the health impacts of 9/11 that are a critical issue six and a half years later.

    For more information about the film, go to:
  • Become a Mentor for a Child Who Lost a Parent on 9/11

    Tuesday’s Children, a not-for-profit organization formed to help children who lost a parent on 9/11, is seeking mentors for kids ages 6-16. Mentoring provides children with a supportive and positive adult role model to help them cope, grow, and achieve. Mentors and mentees meet twice a month for a minimum of one year. Suggested activities include playing sports, working on homework, volunteering, and sharing a meal together.

    For more information about the program, go to:

    To become a mentor, contact:
    Jennifer Betancourt Aparicio, LMSW
    Director of Mentoring

Save The Date

  • Undoing RacismT Upcoming Meetings

    • Working Together for Racial Justice
      Wednesday, January 30
      8:30- 9:30 am
      VCS, Inc. 77 So. Main Street, New City, NY 10956 (Rockland County)

      For more information, contact:
      Vanessa Green

    • Strategic Planning Meetings for Future Anti-Racism Work
      Monday, February 4
      10 am- 12 pm
      101 Forest Blvd., Ardsley, NY 10502 (Westchester County)

      Conference call in option:
      Call 712-432-2000 code 526816

      For more information, contact:
      Sandy Bernabei
  • Emergency Preparedness Forums for Local Faith Leaders

    • Brooklyn:
      Wednesday, February 20
      8:30 am- 4 pm
      Brooklyn Borough Hall
      209 Joralemon Street
      Brooklyn, NY 11201 t

    • Staten Island:
      Tuesday, March 4
      8:30 am- 4 pm
      George Cromwell Recreation Center
      Murray Hulbert Avenue, Pier 6
      Staten Island, NY 10301

    • Manhattan:
      Thursday, March 13
      8:30 am- 4 pm
      American Red Cross
      520 West 49th Street
      New York, NY 10019

    • Queens:
      March 2008
      8:30 am- 4 pm
      Queens Museum
      Final Date to Be Announced

    • The Bronx:
      March 2008
      8:30 am- 4 pm
      Hostos Community College
      Final Date to Be Announced

    Free Registration
    Breakfast and Lunch Included

    Sponsored by the NYC Citizen Corps Council, these forums help prepare local faith leaders to be resilient in case of emergencies. Each one includes information and programs available to participating faith leaders to better serve their congregations before, during, and after disasters. NYDIS is supporting this initiative by providing outreach, faculty, and innovative resources for the event.

    Register for any of these events:

  • Institute for Disaster Mental Health Conference

    Friday, April 11
    SUNY at New Paltz, NY

    The Institute for Disaster Mental Health’s 5th annual conference, “Healing the Scars of War,” is for spiritual leaders and mental health professionals who provide services to veterans. Morning keynote speakers will highlight several approaches to assessment and treatment of service personnel and their families. Afternoon workshops will provide mental health practitioners and spiritual care providers with in-depth information, guidance, and training.

    For more information:

    Online pre-registration begins January 15:

Job & Volunteer Opportunities

  • NYDIS, Office Volunteers

    NYDIS is seeking office volunteers to support the finance and disaster preparedness/training departments, and to answer phones and perform administrative duties for 20 hours per week. Positions begin immediately.

    To apply, please email your Cover Letter and Resume to:
    pgudaitis@nydis.org or fax to 212.669.6101.
  • ARC GNY, Senior Coordinator, Mass Care

    The Disaster Planning & Response Department is seeking a qualified candidate to develop, implement, and oversee a comprehensive disaster feeding program for disaster clients, first responders, volunteers, and staff during emergencies. The position also involves developing Mass Care workshops for Red Cross volunteers and staff as well serving as the Feeding lead for all disaster feeding issues. 

    For details about this position: click here

    To apply, send resume and cover letter to:
    American Red Cross in Greater New York
    Human Resources Department
    520 West 49th Street
    New York, NY 10019
    Fax: 212-875-2357
  • United Sikhs, Internships for 2008

    The United Sikhs is seeking candidates for a wide range of internship opportunities for 2008. These positions are ideal for law students, other undergraduate and graduate students, and anyone who wants experience in an international non-profit humanitarian organization.

    For detailed descriptions of these positions:

Make a Gift to NYDIS
  • Support NYDIS - Donate Online

    NYDISnetIf you'd like to make a donation to assist NYDIS in its mission of providing faith-based disaster services, click here, or send a check to NYDIS at 22 Cortlandt Street, 20th Fl., New York, NY 10007. NYDIS is a 501(c)(3) corporation and contributions are 100% tax deductible. It is a great way to honor or memorialize someone and we will send an acknowledgement of your gift.

    To donate online, go to the NYDIS homepage and click "Make a Donation":


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