The rest is being held in reserve to address long-term recovery needs in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut over the next few years, a strategy that has drawn criticism from some Sandy victims and a charity watchdog group.
Among the victims critical of the relief organization is Melissa Koenig, whose family was displaced from their Union Beach home for about six months.
She said she contacted the Salvation Army this fall, seeking help with temporary housing while the home was being lifted, but by the time she heard back from anyone several weeks later, she said, she and her husband had paid $2,000 for a trailer and the lifting project was finished.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Koenig said of the charity’s long-term spending plan. “Figure out a way to disperse it. People need the money now.”
Salvation Army leaders, however, insist they are taking a prudent approach, based on the organization’s many years of experience responding to disasters like Sandy.
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