Common Ground, Hurricane Sandy and our Community

A message from Executive Director Brenda E. Rosen

Dear friends:

While the immediate threat from Hurricane Sandy has passed, the memory and impact of the storm will remain with us for a very long time. As New York begins to return to normal, I hope you and your loved ones are well. Our hearts go out to those who suffered personal loss and injury, and pray that friends and family were able to support you in a time of need.

At Common Ground, we experienced – as so many did – great hardship, but also witnessed great courage and determination. Four of our buildings lost power and more than 1,000 residents (32% of our total tenant population) spent days without light or heat.

Many Common Ground staff and staff from our partner agencies worked throughout the storm to ensure the safety and security of our residents, providing support, comfort, food and essential services to our most vulnerable tenants. The dedication and resilience of the staff – those who remained at our buildings and scores of others who provided relief and further support—carried us through the disaster. Your support and confidence in our mission is an important ingredient in our ability to attract and retain a deeply talented and dedicated staff, and for that I want to say again how grateful we are to you. 

Fortunately, full power has been restored to our buildings and Common Ground residents are returning to a normal routine.  For other parts of the New York community, however, much rebuilding remains. 

Many friends have called and written to ask if they can help in a special way. At this point, Common Ground itself is strong and moving forward, but others are not so fortunate. Two relief efforts, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC and the Robin Hood Foundation, have been established to assist hurricane victims, and are worthy of consideration.

The new year will certainly bring new challenges to Common Ground, and I look forward to sharing information about our housing development and street outreach programs throughout 2013. 

Thank you again for your partnership and our shared commitment to ending homelessness in New York!


Brenda Rosen