I lost my home due to the flooding in Astoria, Queens from Hurricane Ida Wednesday night.
The water came in fast — ~18" in 30 minutes. There wasn't time to save everything, and unfortunately the majority of the furniture is warped or waterlogged and needs to be replaced. But the most urgent concern is mold. I live(d) in a basement apartment and the entire basement flooded. The mold & mildew odor was apparent less than 24 hours after the flood and will only get worse. The apartment is unlivable, and will be for the foreseeable future.
I'm safe, and loved ones have generously offered their places to crash temporarily. I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have reached out and offered to help. I thought a GoFundMe would be the best platform for that.
After spending the day after the flood assessing the damage, it's clear I have to move into a new permanent home immediately. Moving in NYC already takes an enormous amount of cash-on-hand between first month, last month, and brokerage fees. Adding to that a need to replace nearly all the furniture I have to accept it's just a bit more than I can handle right now financially.
What I'm looking to do is replace what was lost and move, and I could use your help. The costs will be...
- $5400 to secure an apartment (Assuming $1800 rent x 3)
- $500 moving costs (Packing supplies & movers)
- $3000 furniture (Couch, bed frame & mattress, book cases/storage, TV shelf, carpets)
- $2000 to replace items lost in the flood (Luggage, shoes, vacuum, clothes, etc.)
- $1,000 temporary housing (Will need to get back and forth to the old apartment, have the occasional hotel night here and there, and may need to get legal help to deal with current landlords)
I'll need roughly $12,000 total in the next month to replace what was lost and secure permanent housing.
I'm a bargain hunter, and that's what led to me living in a basement apartment. The media is flooding the NYC area with stories of these especially common illegal basement studios. Sadly, 20+ people died in these types of residence. I am so lucky to be alive. The water came fast and if I hadn't immediately unplugged everything in the home, there could have been electric shock. The outlets were making popping noises all night. All across NYC, landlords are going to have to finally convert these illegal apartments into fully livable spaces, with sprinklers, multiple entrances, electric meters, etc. It's long overdue. My landlords are actually very nice people, but they aren't realistic yet about the timetable needed to fix the apartment and the coming crackdown on these apartments. They will need to do a major renovation that will take months.
There are many who have it worse than me. I am lucky enough to have a good credit score, a stable job, and people who love me and won't let me fall. Not everyone has that. If you aren't able to give to this GoFundMe, please consider helping homeless people in your area, or climate change infrastructure projects. I never thought when I woke up Wednesday that I would be homeless by Thursday. Climate change is a threat to everyone.
If GoFundMe isn't your thing and you still want to help, I'm on V e n m o @Jeff-Covello.
Thank you for your overwhelming generosity and kindness. Just knowing that so many people are thinking of me gives me the energy I need to work through this sudden loss of housing.