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Bringing hope to L.B.
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Courtesy Robert Shanley
Project Hope volunteers are on hand to help at a children’s art forum at Gentle Brew Cafe

While Snipp is glad that people are utilizing the service, she said some people are still hesitant to approach them. Some think they don’t need it because they don’t think they suffered enough to warrant counseling. She said some people think that because they only lost a car, and their neighbor lost their whole house, they don’t think they are allowed to complain or feel bad for themselves.

“You did suffer through something and you are having a response to it,” said Snipp. “You don’t have to qualify that.”

For others, it’s the stigma of getting “mental help” that is off-putting. Snipp understands that this stigma exists, but reminds doubters that Project Hope is confidential, and the environment is casual.

“You don’t have to come to an office,” said Snipp. “We can meet wherever you want and just sit down and have a conversation. We’re not here to judge you.”

Project Hope plans to be in Long Beach throughout the anniversary of Sandy. They are waiting on approval for the second phase of the program. As time goes on, victims’ needs change, said Snipp. The second phase will still involve a lot of outreach and counseling, said Snipp, but they may shift more towards hosting support groups, depending on the needs of the community.

“They may not feel they need us now, but hopefully they’ll hold on to our flyer,” said Snipp. “And if they do need us, they’ll pick up the phone. We’re here for them.”

A new addition to the program is a weekly series of group sessions that will tackle self-care, stress management and life skills. They will be held on Mondays, beginning March 4, at 7 p.m. at St. Ignatius Church, 721 West Broadway, and on Wednesdays, beginning March 6, at 7 p.m., at Long Beach High School, 322 Lagoon Drive West.

For more information, or to speak with a crisis counselor, please call Project Hope at the Long Beach Medical Center at 516-897-4326


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As a Project Hope team member, I cannot share enough just how much I have learned about people, including myself, since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. How from such a historic disaster, came forth, the historic outpouring of the human spirit. Spirit that comes from deep within the hearts of so many incredible people who take it upon themselves to volunteer their time in helping to rebuild the homes and lives of others; homes and lives that were left devastated beyond words. How even now, almost 4 months later, I still find myself in moments where it all still feels so strangely surreal to me. Moments, when I am left feeling so completely humbled in seeing just how life can literally change over night as a result of a natural (or unnatural) disaster. How one devastating event can bring us to our knees, but yet, despite it all, how the human heart and spirit within us, can push us to rise above the pain and the rumble, so we can work towards the recovery and the rebuilding of a new life. Yes, living through the aftermath of Sandy will now be a part of all our lives, as well as a part of history. But more importantly, so will be the "bruised but not broken" sentiment that is being echoed throughout our communities. For it has been through the aftermath of Sandy, that we have witnessed the endless gifts of unselfish giving; gifts that have become a beautiful testimony of humanity, a testament that I know has softened my heart beyond words. That, I, for one, now truly understand what it really means to give ... and how "in giving, we also receive". So here's to all those who help in bringing HOPE to Long Beach ... our new, "Strong Beach". May she come back as resilient as all the incredible spirits of those who are helping to rebuild her and the lives of one another! ~ Donna Pisacano Brown

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