Soon-to-be-homeless Sandy victims protest Red Cross

Posted at 7:35 PM, Jan 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-16 23:02:27-05

A number of families left homeless by Hurricane Sandy,  claim they are getting a royal runaround from agencies in their efforts to get disaster relief.

A group, representing 120 families who were evacuated from Far Rockaway , staged a protest outside the Manhattan headquarters of the American Red Cross.   They chanted, “Red Cross, Double Cross.” Angry and frustrated, they claimed to be abandoned by the Red Cross that initially helped them out with $100 a week allowances for food and Metro Cards.

But that has dried up. Many of the families were provided with shelter in Manhattan hotels after the storm.  Now they say they are receiving eviction notices.  Nateisha Laws and her three children have have received notice to vacate the hotel where they’ve been living by March 1st.

“We need assistance,” she told PIX 11 News. “I’m expecting the Red Cross to stand up for us, to fight for us.”  Red Cross officials welcomed the protestors inside to meet.  But they left frustrated, claiming nothing was accomplished.

Protest organizer Errol Riley said the situation is mired in bureaucracy with everyone “passing the buck.” Red Cross officials told PIX11 News they have not abandoned the families, and that it has done all it can, but noted it is not responsible for providing housing for them.  The relief agency did promise to reach out to city agencies and case workers in an effort to help.