Red Cross supports 9/11 recovery with $50 million

The American Red Cross September 11 Recovery Program today announced that it has allocated $50 million from the Liberty Disaster Relief Fund to a nationwide grant-making program to support the longer-term recovery needs of thousands of people directly impacted by the events of September 11, 2001.

Over the next two years, American Red Cross September 11th Recovery Grants will fund programs large and small which offer services in communities throughout the United States. Grants will be issued to organizations addressing a wide variety of recovery needs including: health; mental health and wellness; community-based recovery; children and youth; ensuring access to September 11 services; and more. The first formal request-for-proposals will be issued as early as July 2004 with funding awards anticipated in the fall of 2004.

“As people continue taking the difficult steps toward recovery, the Red Cross wants to ensure there are viable community-based programs that will assist them,” said Alan Goodman, Executive Director of the Red Cross September 11 Recovery Program. “Funding programs that provide services to people with September 11-related needs maximizes the effective use of Red Cross’ resources and extends our reach—we’re able to make sure help is the

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to Guide Program
The Red Cross has engaged Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to guide the structure and development of the grant-making program. The nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest and most experienced philanthropy services, and has developed or facilitated more than $850 million in giving over the past decade. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors will also administer the grant application and monitoring processes. The Red Cross will make all final award decisions.

"We’re deeply honored to be part of this important Red Cross effort to help individuals and communities recover from the most devastating event in our home city and our nation’s recent history,” said Melissa A. Berman, President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. “This is a unique opportunity to apply our knowledge, experience and commitment to thoughtful, effective philanthropy. The Red Cross Recovery Grants will support the extraordinary community organizations that address the complex challenges of long-term recovery from the wide-ranging impacts of September 11.”

The initial request-for-proposal (RFP) is expected to be issued in July. Organizations interested in applying for funds should visit www.redcross.org/september11/help for details, updates on upcoming request-for-proposals, and instructions on applying.

“As good stewards of the donated dollar, the Red Cross is applying the best possible expertise to meet client needs. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors provides just that, and we’re counting on them to help us with the most effective distribution of the grants to meet the unmet needs of people affected by the September 11 attacks,” said Goodman.

Mount Sinai Medical Center Receives $1.5 Million
An example of the type of funding the Red Cross will provide to community-based organizations is a grant award of $1.5 million to the World Trade Center Health Effects Treatment Program at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. The program provides comprehensive diagnostic, treatment, and advocacy services for those who have WTC-related health problems, as part of an integrated system of care for workers and volunteers who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts, debris removal and sifting, and/or the restoration of services at the World Trade Center site following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

“We are extremely grateful to the American Red Cross for this generous grant that will enable Mount Sinai to continue treating responders who suffer from WTC-related health conditions with no out of pocket expense,” said Robin Herbert, MD, Associate Professor of Community and Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and co-director of the World Trade Center Health Effects Treatment Program. “Thousands of Ground Zero workers are still suffering from serious medical problems, and many of them face life-long illnesses.”

The Mount Sinai World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program has screened more than 8,600 Ground Zero workers and found that many of them have respiratory, sinus and/or mental health symptoms that have persisted for more than a year. Forty percent of WTC responders seen in Mount Sinai’s WTC Treatment Program lack health insurance and one-third are now unemployed.

“The Red Cross is honored to support Mount Sinai’s World Trade Center Health Effects Treatment Program,” said Goodman. “The grant will finance the Program’s addition of a third treatment facility, making its services more accessible, and also enable it to meet health-related needs of these heroic individuals into the future.”

The Treatment Program is coordinated by the Mount Sinai-Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, an internationally respected diagnostic, treatment, and referral center for occupationally related illnesses. Among those eligible for or currently receiving free treatment are workers and volunteers involved in the rescue and recovery, restoration of essential services and clean up/debris removal at either the World Trade Center site or the Staten Island landfill. Information about the Mount Sinai Health Effects Treatment Program is available at: (212) 241-9059.

“Mount Sinai’s Treatment Program exemplifies the type of effort we are seeking to fund through our Recovery Grants program—easy to access, tailored to the unique needs of those individuals directly impacted by the attacks and crucial to their recovery,” said Goodman.

Other organizations and programs awarded funding by the Red Cross illustrate the wide variety of services they are seeking to support.

  • Trial Lawyers Care received $1,215,085 to connect families to pro bono legal assistance for applying to the Victims Compensation Fund.
  • National Center for Victims of Crime received $203,470 to support its Critical Choices Initiative, which helped those impacted by 9/11 understand the implications of applying to the Federal Victims’ Compensation Fund, and trained attorneys and service providers to understand and help meet families’ legal needs.

From a $78,900 request for financial planning support to today’s $1.5 million award for long-term health issues, the programs are diverse but they have one thing in common—helping people move forward in their recovery.

About The American Red Cross September 11 Recovery Program:
The American Red Cross September 11 Recovery Program provides assistance, support and guidance to those most directly affected by the September 11 attacks. Current services include case management, financial assistance for mental health and health care, subsidies to cover health insurance costs, support and information groups and other financial assistance. The Red Cross also provides community-based organizations with funding to enhance long-term, local services for people affected by 9-11. For information on services, call (877) 746-4987 [TDD (800) 63-1220] or visit www.redcross.org/september11/help.

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