City leaders call for disaster relief funding for houses of worship

BROOKLYN -

City leaders are calling for disaster relief funding for houses of worship after a new report by the city outlines the role they may play in future emergencies.

During Superstorm Sandy, the houses of worship, including the Coney Island Cathedral, were the only places some people could turn to in their time of need.

"When their buildings were inundated, when they themselves were dealing with the aftermath of this storm, they unflinchingly opened their doors to house people, to help people, to feed people, to clothe people," said Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger.

City leaders say that by understanding the role houses of worship played in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, they will be better prepared dealing with similar disasters in the future.

Treyger says that responsibility is up to the government. One of the report's recommendations is for the city to lobby for a change in federal legislation and allow reimbursements for the non-religious services houses of worship provide.

"The services that these houses of worship offer the community were not just religious service but humanitarian services,” Treyger says.

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