AmeriCares has awarded $200,000 in grants to help elderly, disabled and low-income New Jersey residents recover from Superstorm Sandy.

As these vulnerable populations continue to repair and rebuild damaged homes along the Jersey Shore, AmeriCares is providing funding for mental health counseling as well as case management to connect survivors with available resources, including financial support and mental health services.

"Some Sandy survivors, particularly those with compromised health, need guidance and support as they confront difficult decisions that may affect their financial and emotional health," said Rachel Granger, AmeriCares vice president of post emergency response. "With AmeriCares support, local organizations assisting the long-term recovery will have additional staffing to meet survivors' needs in the months ahead."

In Ocean County, Caregivers of New Jersey has been awarded a $137,000 grant to provide disaster case management for the elderly and disabled. Two disaster case managers will work with as many as 45 clients to create comprehensive recovery plans and actions steps, while linking individuals with community resources. Trenton-based Caregivers of New Jersey has been actively involved in Sandy recovery efforts, serving on FEMA Disability Response Teams and Long Term Recovery Groups, as well as reaching out to more than 400 disabled individuals during Sandy to ensure that their medical needs were being met.

More Information

Fact box

"Our goal is to make sure people with disabilities and seniors' voices are being heard, and that their needs are being met during their recovery," said Eileen Coyne, director of disaster case management for Caregivers of New Jersey.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Camden has been awarded $71,000 to fund a bilingual mental health counselor for low-income, Spanish-speaking residents in Atlantic City and Rio Grande. Services will be provided to over 40 individuals impacted by Sandy, in addition to providing assessments of 50 survivors. Catholic Charities is a faith-based agency that provides rental, utility and food assistance as well as counseling and other services for low-income residents in six southern New Jersey counties.

"We are grateful that AmeriCares recognizes the long-term emotional stress which so many people in New Jersey have undergone since Sandy first struck," said Kevin Hickey, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden. "The physical destruction, economic displacement, along with the complexities of the recovery, can have profound emotional effects on Sandy victims. This grant recognizes that people need support to repair not only their homes but their emotional equilibrium."