In a city of nearly 9 million people, after any sort of tragedy it suddenly feels like you've known everyone your whole life. Now the city is once again calling on neighbors to be neighbors and open their homes to those who have still not been made whole three years after Hurricane Sandy.
For those who were not greatly impacted, it seems almost like a distant memory. Even the tourist aspects of the New York City shores in Rockaway and Coney Island have rebounded pretty well. The boardwalk in Rockaway continues to extend and more and more rides are opening in Coney Island.
But just a block away in some cases, there are still vacant homes and people trying to piece back together their lives. You can drive around any of these neighborhoods and still see boards on the windows or overgrown grass. It's been this way for too long now.
The de Blasio administration has made one thing clear: the Build It Back program for eligible Sandy-impacted homes will be finished this year, which means more people being temporarily displaced by construction.
It's on people in the communities that were hit the hardest, those that were fortunate and maybe have vacant units in their multi-family house or apartment building, that need to be the best neighbors now.
It's especially important as some start to forget the storm and the devastating impact it had on so many lives. New York City has rent it will pay, so it's not like there's not benefit to the homeowner.
This is a win-win for all parties involved, so it's time to take initiative and look at letting your neighbor into your home while the city rebuilds theirs.