A Coney Island church that played a major role Sandy relief efforts is now in need of help, according to a story in The New York World.
According to the article, the largest church in Coney Island, the Coney Island Gospel Assembly at 2828 Neptune Avenue, opened its doors following Sandy to be filled with supplies such as canned foods and bottled water and had medical staff working inside. Later, the Red Cross set up just outside the church.
Even before Sandy, the church had deep roots serving the community’s neediest.
Over the years the church had hosted a variety of social services within its walls, including a homeless shelter, summer activities for children, a truancy reduction program and a food distribution service run by Operation Blessing, the Rev. Pat Robertson’s nonprofit. She has counseled families through addictions, illnesses and interventions, and more gang-related deaths than she can count.
The church may have been a lifesaver to those affected by the storm, but it too could use a helping hand. The basement of the church had flooded, causing $1.5 million in damages.
According to the article, the church has received some of the generosity that it has been giving out. In November, it received $125,000 from a non-profit organization called Mercury One and in December it received $75,000 from the Robin Hood Foundation.
These donations have made a difference but the church is still struggling.
The church is currently surviving on weekly offerings at Sunday service. It can’t apply for a loan because there is no way to pay back the money. FEMA can’t help because a house of worship is not eligible for aid, although the House of Representatives has passed a bill that may change this.