Report: Seward Park Seniors Stranded, Terrified

Posted on: October 31st, 2012 at 4:10 pm by

Please use this post to share more info. We want to make sure that all info is updated. This story was posted at 4pm on Wednesday. Things change very rapidly.

Word has come through the tipline that some seniors residing on the top floors of the Seward Park Co-op are stranded in their apartments. No electric, heat, or running water.  A concerned resident emailed us the following:

I am writing to you in a desperate attempt to help the countless seniors trapped in their apts in the Seward Park complex without electric, heat and running water. Some 20 flights up in buildings where elevator and electric is not running.

I just left my building today to go to a friend’s in Brooklyn and on my way down the pitch black stairway I heard the cries for help from a women in her mid 80s. She had ran out of water and had no phone to call for help. She also needed the assistance of a walker so there was nowhere for her to go – her neighbors already left. We used our cells which have had spotty service to call her family and I ran out to grab a car for her after taking her down the 3 flights.

She was terrified and said NOBODY has been knocking on the doors seeing if anyone needed help. The mgmt just sent out an email saying anyone who needs help to leave a note on their door or call their office. But nobody in the building can get the email since their is no electric! I can only imagine all the people trapped in their apts with no way of calling for help or any idea of what’s going on.

I spoke with security who said they had their hands tied. I’ve been trying to call mgmt but the number is busy 24/7 or not working. They need to do a door to door search immediately as we go on the 3rd night with no electric.


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  • Sutton

    what’s the address?

  • Sutton

    what do they specifically need? A place to stay, water, what?

  • Evan

    There’s a few buildings in the COOP. 387 Grand Street at Norfolk is one. (one block east of essex). M14A bus takes you to Donut Plant which is next door to building. It has three elevator banks. There is a shelter on Orchard and Grand at the highschool. Some people might need water. Some might need the use of a cell phone to make a call. Who knows…. hopeful the MGMT is reading this and will get on this.

  • Evan

    A group of us are meeting at 387 Grand Street at Norfolk tomorrow (Thurs) at 10:30 in the lobby area. The plan is to organize and walk the three stairways going door to door checking on people. There’s a few buildings in this coop, all with 3 elevator banks, so we will try to check on as many floors as we can.

    Hoping security will not give us any problems….

    Anyone wanting to help please come by. Or email me at with any questions.

    Thank you Bowery Boogie and Elie! It’s amazing to see you organize a community to help each other so fast!


    • Dave Gustav

      Thanks so much, Evan. We just shared these details on Facebook and Twitter too. Keep us updated

      • Evan

        Sure thing. Thanks Dave!

    • Rach

      Is there anything that we can do now? Can anyone get together and go there now?

    • Ben

      ‘Thank you so much for organizing this! I am in Boston and cannot be there. The seniors there are not my relations but they could be my grandparents. My grandparents, Solomon and Sarah Novogrodsky, lived in 383 Grand Street for 40+ years, until they passed away in 2002. My grandmother’s brother was Ralph Lippman the original manager of the Seward Park Co-ops. I’ve been going crazy about this since I read this post earlier. Thank you so much Elie for bringing attention to this situation and to everyone volunteering. I know the how the buildings smell inside, how footsteps echo in the hallways, the sounds of those elevators… Please post updates where you can—here/on Twitter/your own blogs, and let us know if there are needs you cannot meet. I will try to bring more attention to this if I can. There are other similar buildings—Amalgamated, Hillman, and East River Housing (the latter is where my family lived when I was born): those buildings should be checked with apartment by apartment door knocking too.

      A friend of mine noted on Facebook that Ari Hart and Uri L’tzedek have been organizing visits on the Lower East Side. Perhaps they can help bering more people and coordinate efforts. There is also a Young Israel synagogue on East Broadway, which has long had congregants from these buildings. Perhaps there are folks there who could get involved.

      Please let me know here or on twitter (@minorjive) or email (minorjive at gmail) where you are posting updates. These buildings and this Lower East Side community are very important to me.

  • purejuice

    having had an ancient mother in an elevator building, this is the first thought that crossed my mind. i sent money to meals on wheels instead of the red cross. please keep us posted so we out of towners can support this emergency.

  • Cathy


    First, thanks, Elie, for the post! We live on the 19th floor of 387 Grand St. (K block) and we were checking in on our neighbors regularly from Monday night until yesterday (Wed afternoon). We have 2 small children so our friends from Brooklyn came to bring us to their home. We had planned to leave for one day and bring supplies back to our neighbors, but we are going to stay another day since it is better for our kids. Could someone please check in on our neighbors for us? K1907, K1908, etc. There are 3 elderly women, running low on water, food, and batteries, etc. One has diet restrictions and is afraid to use her stove because she thinks she has a gas leak. Another has 2 dogs and has not been able to bring them outside to defecate or pee (she doesn’t have a balcony) so I only imagine what the garbage situation is. We shared what we could with them before we left. Thank you! I am sure they could use more water, candles, food, batteries. Perhaps you already found them (thanks Evan, for organizing the group).

  • Dave Gustav

    To streamline things, I’m going to close comments here and ask that everyone please use this link to leave comments and info in a more centralized place: Thanks to everyone for their input. We’re here to support you.