Staten Island, New York
One of the five boroughs of New York City, Staten Island is a mix of well kept suburban houses and low income housing complexes. Poverty rates have risen steadily here over the last 20 years: in 1989 the U.S. Census Bureau found 6.5% of residents lived under the poverty level; in 2000, 8.9%, in 2010, 11%.
According to the 2007-2011 American Community Survey, in Staten Island:
- 17.9% of households have an annual income of less than $25,000
- 34.9% of single mothers and single women with children live in poverty
Family-to-Family’s contact and partner on Staten Island is the Christian Pentecostal Church (CPC) and its pastor, John Rocco Carlo. The church operates a food pantry in addition to offering shelter, housing resources and counseling to those in need.
When Super storm Sandy hit the Northeast in October 2012, Staten Island suffered incredible devastation. Homes and businesses were destroyed, leaving thousands displaced – including many of the CPC’s parishioners. Two days after the storm Pastor Carlo started a massive grass roots relief effort.
Along with 3 other area churches, the CPC organized a makeshift disaster relief depot of sorts – enabling community organizers across Staten Island to pick up and distribute basic necessities (food, blankets, warm clothing, etc.) to those displaced by Sandy. These early efforts quickly grew into a major resource hub for Staten Island residents who were only beginning to realize just how arduous the process of recovery would be.
According to the Pastor, the most common issue is the challenging question of how to rebuild. The cost of flood insurance has skyrocketed in the post-Sandy months, making the dream of rebuilding businesses and restoring jobs seem unattainable. Many in this community were left both homeless and jobless in Sandy’s wake and must make difficult decisions about how best to move forward.
This is a community of resilient and hardworking people – many of whom were struggling even before their homes and workplaces were damaged or destroyed. Family-to-Family’s efforts to support Staten Island residents include both one-to-one family hunger relief sponsorships and one-to-one hurricane adoptions.
In Staten Island, Family-to-Family partners with The Food Bank of New York to provide groceries for our sponsored families.
Rev. John Rocco Carlo
Christian Pentecostal Church
900 Richmond Rd.
Staten Island, N.Y. 10304