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35 Families Still Displaced From Belmar Homes Due to Hurricane Sandy

Officials say need is still great for Belmar families struggling to return, rebuild

Nearly three dozen families remain homeless from their Belmar residences, displaced in temporary housing such as hotels, rental units or with families elsewhere, officials said this week.

Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay reported this week that 35 Belmar families remained displaced from their primary home in the borough, due to the devastation their homes faced from Hurricane Sandy in October.

Now, five months after the storm, those families remain in need. However, the use of a borough-administered donation collection and distribution to families has come under criticism by Councilman Jim Beam for its lack of transperancy and possible conflict of interest.

Mayor Matt Doherty said those in need should not fear that their private matters would be made public, and encouraged further donations to the borough's Hurricane Sandy fund. The fund first distributed gift cards to displaced families and those without power for weeks, and has now moved to cash distributions from the fund.

The borough has a waiting list for the fund, Doherty said. It is overseen by the borough's social service staff.

At the close of 2012, Doherty said 55 families were displaced due to the storm. The storm surge uprooted most of Belmar's boardwalk and severely damaged homes and business near the ocean front. The flooding reached St. Rose school and Belmar's lakes were pumped in an attempt to quell water levels.

jerseyswamps April 06, 2013 at 10:45 AM
So, it can get a bit fuzzy regarding who you are helping depending on how you help them. Some people wanting to help could unknowingly make a person ineligible for ongoing assistance with a small cash gift. A professional who knows the regulations and who knows their community might be the best person to disperse assistance. Could or should they make it a public record of who they help who is NOT on a federal assistance program? Perhaps. If they could keep it straight and there was no blur between the two groups. Because if they got it wrong and did identify a general assistance recipient they could get sued. And guess which taxpayers would have to pay to defend or settle that claim? If I were running this town my social service department would have probably advised me to keep all this information confidential. I'd agree and accept the political grief. BTW, A person on general assistance gets $140/mo. to live on. Good luck with that. If they are homeless and if the county or a town like Belmar helps them with housing by placement in a dumpy room the client's cash assistance is reduced to $49/mo.
beingfair732 April 07, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Even though i agree with all things said negatively about Matt, i will say that ocean ave is owned by the county. In order for the construction to be done property the county probably mandated Matt to keep the road closed for safety reasons.
beingfair732 April 07, 2013 at 08:17 PM
no offense, but the only businesses left to gain business from the board walk is 16th ave and down; or whats left of it. The restaurant owned by the same owners of sunsets, yeah that place is ok but it gets no where near the business the south end does by dj's.
Dame Bridgid April 08, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Wah! Wah! Wah! Call the Waambulance! Without that boardwalk you deride Belmar would lose a major source of income, & EVERYONE would suffer for it. All you have done is shown your ignorance, Cryer. Without a Summer Season that includes the successful re-openiing of Belmar's scenic boardwalk ... Businesses will close. Jobs for Belmar residents will be lost. Taxes will go up. As for the families who are still homeless, try donating or assisting rather than flapping your yap. Start a petition to our representatives if you believe it is an unacceptably long wait for them to get help from our government. Do something. At least Belmar is doing something!
paulie April 08, 2013 at 12:30 PM
@Dame - In addition to showing pure ignorance Crier has demonstrated he has zero idea how the law works in relation to disbursement of disaster funds. A bleeding heart liberal no doubt.

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