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Randy and Tina have been married for over 25 years. Randy is a plumber for the New York City Housing Authority and Tina is an administrative assistant for a private equity firm in Manhattan. As newlyweds, Randy and Tina purchased a small bungalow the year after they were married in the Oakwood Beach section of Staten Island, where they raised two wonderful children. Christian (24) is an electrical apprentice in Local 3 and Sara (16) is a student at Tottenville High School. Sara intends to attend a local art college next year.
Randy and Tina saved money for over twenty years to expand their bungalow into a beach house with sweeping views of the ocean and the Manhattan skyline. Their dream came true 18 months ago, completely expanding and renovating their bungalow into their dream beach home. Hurricane Sandy literally destroyed this dream within hours. The home was hit with a 13 foot storm surge, damaging the home’s basement, garage and severely altering the home’s foundation. The entire 1st floor of the home, which was built to current height requirements, did not escape Sandy's wrath. Their main living floor sustained enough damage to ruin everything on the 1st floor, including most of the furniture and personal items the family purchased over the years.
The family was staying with relatives immediately following the storm and recently moved into a rental home this January. The damage sustained to the home has not yet been repaired. To make matters worse, they are afraid to move back to their home since it is 300 feet from the shoreline, and the protection from the ocean including the sea wall, berm and floodgate has been destroyed by the storm. Randy and Tina are now faced with the unenviable proposition of having to pay the mortgage on a house they cannot live in as well as the rent for a temporary rental home. The rental home was not large enough to house their son Chris, forcing him to leave his family and rent an apartment of his own. The good news is, Chris has found an apartment in Tottenville, while his family now lives in Princes Bay, so they can still be with each other for Sunday dinner and laundry visits.
Randy and Tina have lost everything in this storm and are still trying to pick up the pieces of their former dream home. The financial burden of paying a mortgage and rent is too difficult for this hard working family. Please help them in their time of need.
Below are some pictures of the Downers home and street in Oakwood Beach post Hurricane Sandy.