Seeking Help at Coney Island Restoration Center

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced this week that the city is opening seven restoration centers for victims of Sandy — facilities that provide one-stop shopping for residents in areas hardest hit by the storm.

In Coney Island, a restoration center was set up at Our Lady of Solace Church. There,  Michelle Zmith, 43, was hoping FEMA could provide replacement money for the car she lost in the storm — losses that her insurance didn't cover.

"I desperately need my car," said Zmith, who has Multiple Sclerosis. "I'm so nervous because I can't replace it. I don't work anymore."

Mary Hewlin, 72, also visited the Coney Island restoration center on Wednesday. It was the first time she left her ninth story apartment since Sandy hit. Hewlin hoped to be reimbursed for hundreds of dollars of food that perished after her power went out.

"I thought I would be given a food voucher or something like that but they said they don't give out food vouchers," she said.

City officials say they are doing their best to meet the needs of everyone affected by he storm and are opening more restoration centers by the end of the week in Red Hook in Brooklyn, Breezy Point, Queens and Throggs Neck in the Bronx.

Large orange signage points out some of the various services at Coney Island Restoration Center
Large orange signage points out some of the various services at Coney Island Restoration Center ( Kathleen Horan )
Residents seeking assistance sit and wait their turn at the Coney Island Restoration Center
Residents seeking assistance sit and wait their turn at the Coney Island Restoration Center ( Kathleen Horan )
46 year old Darlene Wright leaving the Coney Island Restoration Center on West 19th street with a basket full of supplies
46 year old Darlene Wright leaving the Coney Island Restoration Center on West 19th street with a basket full of supplies ( Kathleen Horan )
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