Coney Island/ Brighton Beach/ Sheepshead Bay

A dispatch from Sheepshead Bay, which needs help and needs it now

via Robicelli’s

We’ve heard about the devastation in Red Hook and the horrible tragedy of Breezy Point, but we’ve just gotten word of how things are in Sheesphead Bay. Presented below is a letter from a Sheepshead Bay resident and parent at Brooklyn School of Inquiry (BSI).

As I write this my 1st grader has lost his home. I am willing to bet he is far from the only child at BSI. Their possessions, lives, trophies and art projects are under dirty sewage water and ruined. All our stuff is gone, and what is left is unusable. He asked me to go trick or treating yesterday and I finally broke down and cried. His costume was of course under water but he still hasn’t processed that he can’t go home, can never see his room again and won’t get to be ninja for Halloween. Our neighborhood of Sheepshead bay looks like a war zone. Manhattan and Brighton Beach neighborhoods looks like a bomb went off. Seagate looks like a nuclear explosion.

Yet when you turn on TV you are very unlikely to hear words such as Sheepshead bay and Manhattan beach. Many of you might be completely unaware of what is happening down here. We have been ignored, abandoned by the media and the powers that be. Street intersections have NO police officers regulating traffic. Drivers are frustrated and dangerous it is very scary to walk around with your child. Yet in midtown Manhattan there are police officers on every corner even though the traffic lights are working. Our neighborhoods, whatever is left of them are being looted. Yet I received an image from the upper east side of dozens upon dozens of national guard trucks being WASHED by the national guard soldiers who could instead be protecting our ravaged neighborhoods. I have seen 1 news team in 4 days in sheepshead bay, it was from channel 12.

Here comes the ask for help. I have friends to stay with, clothes for my children and toys. What I don’t have are fema trucks, con edison trucks and national guard. What I need are patrol officers regulating our very dangerous streets. If you know powers that be, please please please get in touch. Please someone do something before this situation is worse. My friends and I have been posting and reposting videos and pictures taken from our ravaged neighborhoods. Please pass this letter along to other BSI parents. I know that there are people at BSI who can help. Your kids’ classmates are in real, physical danger if not from the looters then from dangerous unregulated streets.

– writing from lower 9th ward (aka sheepshead bay) circa 2005

If you want to help Sheepshead Bay out without joining the National Guard, there’s a cleanup scheduled for tomorrow. There’s also word via Robicelli’s of a children’s drive seeking gently used toys, books and children’s clothing. You can drop them off at either 7321 15th Avenue in Dyker Heights, or 351 87th Street in Bay Ridge. If you know any other ways to help, feel free to share, we’ll be updating all day.


  1. michael weeks

    I also had a young child, 1 year old, when my wife and I lost our home in New Orleans in 2005. Seeing the news and reading your letter in particular brings me flashbacks of the empty, horrible feelings I had In the days immediately after the storm. We cried, we hugged, we didn’t know what to do, where to go or how our life would be rebuilt. Now nearly 8 years later, those scars are still there, but they are healed with the love of my child, and the love and generosity of the people who helped us. The amount of donations, clothes, food, money, and prayers were overwhelming and are the true legacy of that storm for me. Without it, we wouldn’t have seen the true nature of our fellow man, people all over the country rooting for us.
    And today, we root for you.
    It will get better, we will help you. I hope your immediate situation improves soon. And you are doing the right thing by asking for help, asking for the things you need from the government. Let them know you are hurting, but the real help and healing will come from your neighbor. And today, we are all you neighbor, and we will help. It will get better, I promise.

  2. Riley

    I’m from Chicago, and just wanted to say our thoughts are with y’all. I tweeted to Rachel Maddow, Melissa Harris Perry, the NYC Mayor’s Office, and Bloomberg himself with a link to this article. Hopefully help arrives soon.

  3. Nora Dougherty

    I had a sense the real people of the area were being neglected by the media b/c they are not glamorous or rich. Yell like hell until you get some help. Thanks for letting the rest of us know. Ga resident

  4. Judith Williams

    My heart breaks for you and all the wonderful people devastated by this terrible storm.I am a 70 year old woman with a very ill husband..I wish I had youth and strength to come there and help.I can’t imagine your frustration of not recieving the help you need.I am frustrated just hearing about it.I pray God will give you the strength and courage you need to get through this and that help will strong and stay safe..

  5. Elliott J. Schertzer

    I lived in Sheepshead Bay between 1964-1975 where are the officers of the 61 precient and the 60 for Brighton Beach & Coney Island? Let me know how I can help and where to send a $ donation,thank you Elliott Schertzer

  6. Victoria

    Thank you for your kind responses everyone. We are ok. We have received no help from Red Cross or FEMA. We have received help from small volunteer led organizations such as team rubicon. If you choose to donate please donate to organizations like these.

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