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NYDISnet Alert     
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NYDIS Announces Closure of City’s Last Remaining 9/11 Recovery Program
The New York City 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable will close in October

July 27, 2008, New York, NY… The New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) 9/11 Recovery Program will close down on October 31st due to termination of major program funding.  The 9/11 Recovery Program administers the New York City 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable (Roundtable) and the 9/11 Coordinated Case Management Program, the sole remaining financial assistance and case management programs for World Trade Center (WTC) responders and other 9/11-impacted persons, both locally and nationally.

Since its inception in 2002, the Roundtable has distributed more than $7.5 million in cash assistance to meet the basic needs of more than 4500 9/11-impacted persons and their families, from 28 states and Canada.  Over 80 city human service agencies and 18 major donor partners have participated in the Roundtable to date. Without immediate new sources of charitable, city or federal funding to continue the Roundtable and 9/11 Coordinated Case Management programs, many WTC responders and other 9/11-impacted persons with disabling WTC-related physical and mental illnesses will be at risk of eviction or foreclosure and utilities shut-off.

Since 2005, NYDIS has funded and managed the 9/11 Coordinated Case Management Program, a community-based, intensive case management services program. The program serves both 9/11 survivors and health-impacted WTC responders and recovery workers. This program currently funds seven of only eight remaining 9/11 case managers in New York City.

Thousands of 9/11 survivors, responders, community residents, and area workers now suffer from disabling physical and mental health conditions related to a host of physical exposures and psychological stressors at the WTC site. Due to disabilities resulting from these 9/11 health impacts, many Roundtable clients struggle to meet very basic expenses, such as rent, mortgage, utilities, food, and transportation while awaiting the receipt of long-term benefits, such as Workers’ Compensation.  As a result, hundreds of clients annually lapse into mortgage or rental arrears, and some have suffered eviction, foreclosure, utilities shut-off, or the humiliation of being unable to afford food for their families. In order to access benefits, secure financial assistance while awaiting the resolution of these benefits, and create a sustainable, long-term recovery plan for themselves and their families, thousands of 9/11 health-impacted persons will continue to require the assistance of a community-based, culturally competent and language-specific, 9/11-trained case manager.

NYDIS’s 9/11 Recovery Program currently coordinates and provides community-based case management services for survivors and hundreds of other 9/11 health-impacted persons.  In addition, NYDIS is receiving an average of 53 new clients requesting services per month.  More than 70 percent of NYDIS clients are WTC responders.  Ninety-six percent of NYDIS clients currently suffer from 9/11 health impacts, and of those clients, 75 percent suffer from both physical and mental illnesses related to 9/11.
Absent philanthropic or governmental funding to continue the vital services offered at NYDIS, however, these ill clients will not receive the assistance necessary to prevent eviction or utilities shut-off, leaving them homeless or without essential services, such as electricity, heat, and gas.

“NYDIS is committed to the long-term administration of the NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable as well as case management coordination and the recovery assistance tool supporting the sustainable long-term recovery needs of direct victims and injured recovery workers,” said Peter Gudaitis, Executive Director and CEO. “We must now look toward our government to meet this increasing need to ensure the health and well-being of those who put themselves in harm’s way when New York City and this nation needed them most.”

Contact: Peter B. Gudaitis
Executive Director & CEO
Office: 212-669-6100
Email: pgudaitis@nydis.org


About NYDIS

Founded in 2003, New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) is a 501(c)(3)  faith-based federation of faith communities as well as disaster service organizations and philanthropies that work in partnership to provide disaster readiness, response, and recovery services for New York City. Our mission is to inspire, connect and share resources with New York City faith communities serving in disaster to create an urban environment that ensures social justice for all peoples. NYDIS and its members provide secular disaster human services to faith communities and individuals alike, regardless of membership or religious affiliation. In times of crisis, NYDIS convenes its leadership with government agencies and local, state, and national disaster management organizations. These partnerships facilitate the delivery of services, resources, and information to religious communities, under-served victims, and impacted communities.

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