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Where to Turn’s purpose is to provide crisis relief services for victims of any kind of tragedy by aiding them in obtaining the help they need during the recovery process.
Where to Turn will accomplish this purpose by:
- Providing updated information on relevant support organizations, including deadline information for certain applications and filings;
- Assigning project managers to support organizations and governmental agencies so as to assure victim awareness of and participation in all relevant programs;
- Serving as a voice for victims to assure that proper officials are aware of victims’ needs and concerns.
- Create and/or support projects that foster community participation and interaction.
Where To Turn, Inc. ("Where to Turn"), located at 150 Greaves Lane # 312, Staten Island N.Y. 10308, had its beginnings shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It was at this time that it became apparent that many families of victims did not know where to turn to receive the aid they needed. In response, a small group of Staten Island residents began a collaborative effort to help the families.
This nascent effort grew into a support organization that served the families of victims by acting as a clearinghouse for 9/11-related information. By collecting relevant information on many of the 9/11 support groups, Where to Turn was able to direct families to available support groups and services. Where to Turn was also able to get answers to victims’ general questions from organizations on both local and national levels, depending on the need. Where to Turn was able to assist families that found themselves caught in various bureaucratic mazes within many support organizations.
As Where to Turn became better known, it began to build relationships with top-level administrators of such support organizations and helped them to become aware of problems or needs that were not being addressed. Where to Turn voiced the families’ concerns and successfully enacted changes to the Victim’s Compensation Fund as well as the redevelopment of Ground Zero.
Where to Turn soon became one of the primary New York-based clearinghouses for 9/11-related information.
It soon became apparent that the process that we had developed could be used to help all victims of tragedy. In October of 2004 the staff of Where to Turn began to verify and catalogue the various links with which they had been dealing. At launch the Where to Turn Website contained nearly 300 verified links.
The Where to Turn project managers are committed to not only expanding the inventory of listed links but to also review and verify all listed links on a regular basis for activity and accuracy.
Working with our participating organizations as well as our registered members we hope to make Where to Turn the primary clearinghouse for information for all victims of tragedy.
- Dennis McKeon
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