While Project Hope at OHEL Ends, Lessons of Resilience Continue
OHEL Continues to Provide Support to Countless Individuals, Families and Neighborhoods
For the past year and a half, OHEL has been an active participant in Project Hope, a Fema funded State-wide initiate created to provide support to people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Countless individuals, families, and neighborhoods have received assistance from OHEL, and while Project Hope is officially ending, there are still many services OHEL will be continuing to provide for those in need.
While simultaneously working on wrapping up with current clients and sites, OHEL has continually been receiving many new referrals, and has implemented services in various Public Schools, the NY Aquarium, the Coney Island branch of the Brooklyn Public Library as well as other various community based sites.
One of the main goals of OHELâ€™s Project Hope is to promote resilience, and to help fortify survivors, so they feel that they have the tools to cope successfully in the aftermath of Sandy and in the event of another major disaster. They have therefore partnered with NY Ready and the Red Cross to do two pronged presentations: The Red Cross presents a physical preparedness presentation, and OHELâ€™s Project Hope presents the emotional preparedness aspect. They have presented this program in many different venues over the last month, to ensure that participants are prepared and resilient to face future challenges.
Through in-person contact, group sessions, and family counseling, OHELâ€™s Project Hope has interacted with and provided support for over a staggering 91,000 participants. In addition to specific Hurricane Sandy related support, OHELâ€™s Project Hope has been working to ensure that their lessons of security and confidence remain intact well into the future.
With the help of the hardworking staff and crisis counselors of OHELâ€™s Project hope, these individuals, families, and neighborhoods who have suffered unimaginable devastation have endured, become more resilient and given the legacy of skills that will help them successfully cope with future challenges.
In the words of Tzivy Reiter, Director of Project Hope at OHEL, â€śOHEL reached out to everyone who may have been affected by the storm over the last year. We left no stone unturned, going door to door in every community and in every kind of weather condition. Our staff sat in freezing cold disaster relief trailers, together with survivors, many of whom still had no heat in their own homes. We braved the 90 degree heat going door to door, seeking out survivors. We walked along the boardwalks and set up shop on the beaches, reaching out to families who still could not face the water with serenity since Sandy. We did not wait for survivors to reach out to us, we reached out to themâ€“ demonstrating that while we could not erase their devastating losses, we could stand alongside them and help them find the inner strength to manage themâ€ť.
Since 1969, OHEL Childrenâ€™s Home and Family Services has served as a dependable haven of individual and family support, helping people of all ages surmount everyday challenges, heal from trauma, and manage with strength and dignity during times of crises. Driven by service excellence, OHELâ€™s professional staff meet the myriad social service needs of the general community, while at the same time providing culturally-sensitive services to the Jewish community, including Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian speakers. Through highly-rated foster care, developmental disability, mental health, and other programs and services, OHEL provides supportive housing, treatment, care coordination, education, outreach and much more to elevate lives and strengthen individuals and communities in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Florida, California and worldwide on the web. David Mandel is the CEO of OHEL.