Friends of Rockaway is a non-profit residential rebuilding organization with the goal of helping residents in need to rebuild their homes. We focus specifically on the Rockaway Peninsula and always try to hire locally to increase the impact of our work. We depend heavily on grant funding from different organizations and volunteer groups that come to Rockaway to donate their time and learn about our community. We serve the community of Rockaway from Far Rockaway all the way to Breezy Point and our mission will follow the needs of the community.
Friends of Rockaway began immediately after Hurricane Sandy and has been helping residents to solve the immense problems caused by the flooding. Eventually, we formed together to create Friends of Rockaway as we helped to gather information and resources together. Rockaway natives, Evan Abel, Michael Sinensky, Chris Miles, Etan Fraiman, Joe Fraiman, Jordon Brown, Danny Brown and Melissa Sorger are all founding members of Friends of Rockaway and continue help restore the community of Rockaway and build back stronger than before.
Our peninsula saw an 11-foot ocean surge that destroyed many homes and left almost all with significant water damage. In many instances, homes were literally lifted up and dropped back down during the flooding. First floors and basements were filled with sand, sewage and salt water, cars were destroyed and the financial stability of residents was shattered. In the days following the Hurricane, we made a decision to serve the community and address the most critical issues in any way that we can.
Soon after, we partnered with Giants of Generosity who provided fiscal sponsorship and allowed us to begin operations. We were awarded grants from various organizations, most importantly from Robin Hood Foundation, to hire local unemployed laborers to muck-out and gut homes. Further assistance from Robin Hood allowed us to run a mold remediation pilot that publically bid out bundles of homes that needed mold remediation in order to drive down the price of mold remediation in the area and give residents free services.
As we have gotten underway, our long term partner and fiscal sponsor, St. Bernard Project, has helped Friends of Rockaway to transition from single services, like demolition and mold remediation, to full rebuild for families in need.