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Under the radar, Occupy Sandy rolls on

Grassroots Volunteers Hold Hurricane Sandy Relief Summit:

Christina Leprise, 28, a resident of Redhook, was personally affected by the storm and understands how it feels to be on the receiving end of grassroots aid. When her apartment flooded, Leprise lost everything she owned, aside from her collection of books. “People would be coming around offering food and supplies. We got flashlights and blankets way before the Red Cross showed up. I think I only saw one Red Cross truck in Red Hook,” she recalls.

Leprise adds that Occupy Sandy volunteers not only provided material relief, but emotional support as well. “It’s really renewed my faith and interest in what Occupy is about,” she says.

Upon returning to her apartment after a month of displacement Leprise says she still sees grassroots representatives walking around from street to street to monitor the neighborhood’s recovery process. Leprise has also managed to put a spin on her misfortune. “It’s helped me learn to live without things I don’t really need,” she says, “so that’s a positive thing and I’m glad I got out alive.”

Others, like Miles Rosenfeld have been on the giving end of recovery efforts since day one. He initially took it upon himself to start bringing vans full of bottled water to the Rockaways and later joined Occupy Sandy. Rosenfeld has since spent nearly every day of the past three months in devastated communities like Broadchannel, Breezy Point and Sheepshead Bay, helping elderly, disabled, or low income residents that have been overlooked by other agencies [thrown under the bus].

Rosenfeld, whose primary duties include gutting houses and demolition, says that mold has become his team’s biggest enemy. “Mold just keeps growing and growing. Luckily we’re in cold times, so it’s not growing as fast, but it’s going to be a big problem when we get to summer.”

Maybe the data is out there that shows the general condition of the New York area, post-Sandy... But I haven't seen it. Readers?

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