SALT looks back on 1st year of recovery


By Patsy Nicosia

At the end of its first full year as SALT, Schoharie Area Longterm Recovery is still helping Schoharie County clean up from Hurricane Irene-a process it expects will take a couple more years, even with considerable help from the Green Shirts and VISTA.
Formed to help coordinate community disaster response, SALT has seen its role evolve and change since the fall of 2011, directors said Tuesday as they looked back.
And ahead.
"We need to realize how far we've come. But there's still a lot to do," said Executive Director Sarah Goodrich.
On that to-do list is fundraising.
SALT organized with a goal of raising $1 million in its first year and $3 million in its first three years.
As a piece of that, members have raised $170,000 of the $250,000 matching grant awarded at the one-year anniversary mark by Fenimore Asset Management.
But even as monies are coming in, they're going out, said Rev. Sherri Mayer-Veen, who also chairs Schoharie Recovery.
To date, said Georgia Van Dyke, who chairs SALT's Unmet Needs Committee, they've reviewed 100 cases and worked on 83 homes-everything from gutting and demolition where needed to painting and sheet-rocking, mold abatement, installing floors, kitchens, hot water heaters and stairs, and foundation work.
Because of how SALT was set-up, these are "leftovers," said Rev. Meyer-Veen-work that other agencies couldn't address and in addition to the 100-plus homes Schoharie Recovery has worked on.
Despite fears that Hurricane Sandy would hit here, damage confined downstate.
Still, Ms. Goodrich said, there's a connection, with some of those who volunteered for recovery in the Schoharie area now dealing with their own disaster at home.
"We've reached out to some of them and they've told us, 'We need SALT here'," she said. "There's a lot of chaos there. Unfortunately, we can't take our show on the road."
SALT has also received calls from people looking to volunteer downstate, but as was the case here, she said, many communities are just now getting to the point where they can take help.
More information on Sandy volunteer opportunities will be posted on SALT's website,, as it becomes available.
There's also information there on SALT's Give the Gift of Home Christmas campaign, which lets people "buy" everything from nails to furnaces to foundations instead of traditional gifts for those still in need here.