On Saturday, the temperature felt at least 10 degrees colder in Red Hook.
The Joseph Miccio Community Center on West 9th Street seemed the hub for Red Hook residents to retrieve food and supplies. Hundreds were in line to receive aid. The Red Hook Initiative (RHI), local churches and members of Occupy Wall Street, have been leading in the relief efforts.
“We’ve received towels, blankets, baby items, toiletries, canned foods, cleaning supplies and more,” said Kristen Ball, a volunteer. “Some of the power has been coming up. Red Hook houses is one of the largest NYCHA development in NYC with 2,000 apartments and 5,000 residents. I’m sure we’ve seen all the residents more than once since we’ve been set up here. We have seen many elderly people with heat issues and many of them suffer from diabetes, so we brought in coolers to keep their insulin cold. We make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids and we just want to get food in those little bellies. We are accepting clothing and blankets and sending the surplus over to Staten Island and Far Rockaway.”
The first floors of many of the NYCHA buildings were pitch black. In the dark hallways there is a visible water line drawn along the wall three feet high. Trash spilled out of receptacles. Just minutes before we arrived, an elderly woman living on the second floor tumbled down the stairs, back first, after tripping over her cane while bringing groceries into her apartment.