Home by Summer raises $50,000 in just two weeks! Thank you everyone who has donated. Click here for the Press Release.
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Click here for Home by Summer Media Kit
After Superstrom Sandy, Belmar had a few thousand families displaced. After days, weeks, and months, most every family was able to return. Today, over 2 years later (over 820 days later) Belmar still has two families still displaced. These two families present our biggest challenge and are caught in a difficult situations that prevents them from returning home. We need to do something.
One family is a Mom, Dad and two children, the other is a Grandmother, Mom and three children. Both have started rehabbing and rebuilding their homes but both were forced to stop for financial reasons. The first family has had to move 5 different times since Sandy and the second has been living with relatives in Lakewood (about 30 minutes from Belmar). Every day the mom drives her children to Belmar so they can attend school with their friends and teachers they know, so they have some semblance of normalcy in their lives. As you can imagine, these round trip drives (twice a day) take a toll.
We have met with both families, spoke to their contractors, reviewed their construction plans, reviewed their financial situations, and assessed what they need to get home. The first family received some money from insurance and were awarded money from RREM. They also applied for SBA loans. The second family received the full amount from RREM and received money from insurance. They were turned down by SBA. Each of these families need a minimum of $100,000 each to get back home. This money is the bare amount the contractors need to finish the jobs for each house. Additional money is waiting for them and has been provided, but for bureaucratic reasons, they cannot access it. For example, one family received insurance money that is now in a Bank of America bank account ($60,000), but the bank will not release the money until they are further along with rebuilding and can show the house will be finished. No one is to blame here, but something must be done.
If we do not raise this money, these two families have no way of getting home. There is no more federal, state or insurance money available. They do not have any wealthy relative who can come in a save the day. There are no non-profits to turn to. We must come together as a community and raise the necessary funds to get these families back home.
Our goal is raise $200,000 and have both families back home by June 1 of this year. We have titled this campaign "Home by Summer." These families have missed two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, two New Years, birthdays and two summers because of Sandy. We are committed to ending this cycle and getting them back home. If we fail not only will these families not return by this summer, they will never return. There is no Plan B. There is just us. And so we will not fail. And they will return home by summer.
We have partnered with The Saint Vincent De Paul Society of St. Rose in Belmar for this campaign. They are a 501c(3) non-profit and opened an account at Central Jersey Bank just for the purposes of raising money and paying the contractors for work completed. So all donations are fully tax deductible.
Donations can be made online through paypal by going to belmar.com and clicking on the link "Home by Summer', or checks can be made out to "Home by Summer" and mailed to Borough of Belmar, Attn: Home by Summer, PO Box A, Belmar, NJ 07719.
We will have a press event on Thursday, February 5th, at 11 am, in front of one of the houses at 1002 14th Avenue in Belmar. This event will be our public kick off of this campaign.
~ Matthew J. Doherty, Mayor