Phase 1 of the Restore Yana Project Completed


YANA (You Are Never Alone), Restore the Rock, and Occupy Sandy are proud to announce that the first phase of rebuilding our home in Rockaway Park, Queens is finally complete. On Friday January 11th, volunteers poured a new concrete floor, working late into the night to make sure there was a wheelchair ramp built before it set and dried.

YANA is a community center that opened its doors two weeks before Superstorm Sandy devastated the region. Its intended purpose was to train workers and bring jobs to the Rockaways, with an emphasis on green technologies. With the support of countless dedicated volunteers and solar power provided by Greenpeace, it re-emerged after the storm as an important relief site and community hub. We’ve been providing hot meals, free medical treatment, legal counseling and housing advocacy. YANA has also been a donation distribution site, trained and dispatched canvassers, construction crews and mold remediation teams throughout the peninsula.

For weeks, neighbors and volunteers have been working tirelessly to get YANA back on its feet so that it can resume its important work and contribute to the long-term recovery of the Rockaways. YANA is using passive and energy efficient building principles throughout its rebuilding process. The structure was completely gutted, dried out and treated for mold, brick walls were rebuilt and reinforced, the plumbing was redone and a new system of in-floor radiant heating was installed. This last element is an example of simple, inexpensive sustainable techniques that can help offset energy costs.

The floor is functional and beautiful, dyed with mineral pigments in deep reds and browns to match the unfinished brick wall. The hydronic (hot water) radiant heating system supplies heat directly to the floor through a series of pipes laid under the concrete. This system uses very little energy — the thermal radiation warms every object with which it comes into contact so it limits heat transfer and breaks the constant heating and cooling cycle of traditional heating systems.

We’re literally building from the ground up. Infinite thanks to the neighbors, volunteers and donors who helped make it happen.

Now, phase 2. Join us.

YANA is located at B113th St. & Rockaway Beach Boulevard. If you’d like to volunteer with us, we are open every day except Mondays and can put anyone to good use. Bring boots and warm clothes. You can also follow us at

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