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Red Cross Gives Grant To Rockaways Rebuilding Effort

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - A community organization in Sandy-ravaged Rockaway, Queens, has received a grant of more than $721,000 from the American Red Cross.

The Friends of Rockaway will use the money to hire local plumbers, electricians and carpenters to rebuild 90 homes over the next year.

"We've really needed to step up our operation with rebuilding in a faster way. Up until now with volunteers, it's great, it's really appreciated. But volunteers come and go, we need stability and the American Red Cross' grant will provide that," Friends of Rockaway co-founder Michael Sinensky told 1010 WINS. "This is going to train and hire local residents who are unemployed to rebuild their own community."

The $721,550 grant will allow low- and moderate-income homeowners to restore their homes.

The Friends of Rockaway says it has raised about $2.5 million since Sandy struck. The money has gone to cleaning out 1,000 homes, gutting about 400 houses, and removing mold from 130 homes. It also will help rebuild 150 homes in the next two years.

The Rockaway peninsula was hard hit in the October storm. Homes, businesses and the boardwalk were severely flooded and damaged.

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