Robert J. Hurst to Lead 9/11 United Services Group
9/11 United Services Group
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK HUMAN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS UNITE IN SEPTEMBER
9/11 United Services Group To Coordinate and Speed
Robert J. Hurst as CEO
(December 14, 2001 – New York, NY) In an important step for New York's recovery from the events of September 11th, the city's major human service organizations have joined forces under an umbrella group to oversee assistance to victims of the terrorist attacks. The 9/11 United Services Group was announced today at a press conference held at the Manhattan headquarters of UJA-Federation of New York. Robert J. Hurst, vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group, has been asked to head up the effort. In attendance at the press conference were Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
The 9/11 United Services Group is a direct response to the need for a better system to coordinate assistance to those affected by the September 11th attacks. The group's mission is to make sure everyone who needs assistance receives it in an effective, timely, and supportive manner - while ensuring accountability and strengthening confidence in the delivery of charitable
aid and social services.
Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York will serve as chair of the organization. Mr. Hurst will serve as chief executive officer, bringing a long history of executive experience, as well as leadership in the nonprofit world, including serving as the current chairman of the board of the Jewish Museum and vice chairman of the board of the Whitney Museum. He also served on the board of the Henry Street Settlement.
"It's an honor to be asked to work with the groups that have been on the front lines - providing everything from meals to counseling to day care to direct financial assistance," said Mr. Hurst. "By coordinating these efforts, we'll do a better job of helping and healing those suffering in the wake of September's tragedy."
The primary responsibilities of the 9/11 United Services Group include forming and maintaining a comprehensive database that will help track services provided at the participating organizations. The database is a key tool in assisting families and individuals to receive the help they need, in addition to identifying service gaps and avoiding duplication of service.
The 9/11 United Services Group will also assign a personal case manager to anyone receiving assistance who wants a helping hand in being walked through the system. The case manager will serve as a point of contact, while helping individuals or families access services.
"The 9/11 United Services Group will be a lifeline to all families who were victimized by the terrorist attacks of September 11th. This new effort can help ensure that families will receive the support they were promised and desperately need," said Senator Clinton, who last month called for "family advocates" to be assigned to those who need assistance in navigating the maze of relief programs and services. "I applaud the charities for working to assign a family advocate to each family that wants one. The 9/11 United Services Group is a true labor of love."
"The 9/11 United Services Group will respond to the staggering needs of those who have been affected by September 11th," said Monsignor Sullivan. "During the past three months, thousands have been provided with tremendous amounts of assistance and services by numerous human service organizations. Yet, we are poignantly aware that many have been frustrated by difficulties in receiving the assistance they need. By establishing a coordinated approach to services among the service providers, we will ensure that no individual or family who needs help falls between the cracks."
Part of that approach includes a toll-free hotline for those who need to access services. The September 11th Support Hotline, hosted by Safe Horizon, can be reached at 866-689-HELP (4357) and will be staffed 24-hours-a-day, 7 days a week. In addition to phone access, individuals will be able to access help online through a website to be launched in the coming weeks.
"The formation of the database is a critical step forward in making this process as easy and efficient as possible for the victims," said Spitzer. "Now instead of the victims trying to work their way through 200 different organizations, we have created a 'one-stop-shopping' way for them to have their needs met."
Beyond its role in coordinating direct assistance, the 9/11 United Services Group will serve as a liaison to the community-at-large, providing regular reports that inform the public on how services are being provided and how clients are being helped. In this way, the group will strengthen accountability among local service providers while upholding the public's trust in their
The participating organizations are the American Red Cross in Greater New York; Asian American Federation of New York; Black Agency Executives, Inc.; The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York; Catholic Charities Diocese of Brooklyn; Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Inc.; Hispanic Federation; Human Services Council; Mental Health Association of New York City, Inc.; Safe Horizon; The Salvation Army; UJA-Federation of New York; and United Neighborhood Houses of New York.