7 On Your Side
Homeowners in limbo after Superstorm Sandy
FORT MONMOUTH (WABC) -- Pamela and Bob Vazquez' house was ripped off its foundation with them hanging on for dear life inside of it.
"It was like the Wizard of Oz, you know, it just twisted and threw us in the water, and we were floating," said Pamela.
Superstorm Sandy left the couple with absolutely nothing. They came back and dug through the rubble after the storm, but said there was nothing left to save.
The parents of six have called a third floor FEMA-sponsored walkup apartment at Fort Monmouth home. Ever since, Pamela estimates about 30 families like hers are living on the decommissioned military base.
"The big thing is, it's not home, nobody wants to be there, you know everybody wants to be," adds Pamela, "I think we're all happy and blessed that we are fortunate enough to be there, but nobody wants to be there."
However, nobody can go home either. Homeowners Insurance didn't pay a dime, and the Vazquez' like many Union Beach families aren't able to rebuild from scratch.
"The communities need a lot of help, they've expended their funds," said Kevin Leahy of the Foundation to Save the Jersey Shore.
The Foundation to Save the Jersey Shore recently threw a barbeque to lift the spirits of the displaced Fort Monmouth families, the non-profit started by a group of locals is dedicated to helping families and businesses devastated by Sandy.
"99 percent goes back, every dollar that we raise goes back," says Warren Diamond.
Through its fundraising, the foundation built the playground in Sea Bright, allowing the summer baseball season to continue for hundreds of kids with its "Save our Season" program, and "adopted" the hard hit town of Mantoloking.
"We could spend all the money repairing and fixing, and we have to do that to help people in need, but we have to look at the big picture," adds Diamond.
Their focus is on helping families like the Vazquez hang on while finding ways to rebuild a stronger Jersey Shore so destruction like this, which has the family homeless won't happen again.
"They're local people, they've lived in the community, they see where the need is, they see a need, they fix it," said Bob Vazquez.
There is a way Eyewitness News viewers can help. The "Save the Jersey Shore" concert is Saturday, August, 3rd at PNC Bank Art Center. Net proceeds go directly to help our neighbors in need.
For more information on "Save the Jersey Shore" visit: http://www.savethejerseyshore.org/
superstorm sandy, storm damage, jersey shore, fema, 7 on your side, nina pineda
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