In October 2012, as the United States eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida and as far inland as Wisconsin was devastated by a hurricane of historic proportion, by the 29th day of October we were assessing the damage to the New York metropolitan area, the United States devastation was said to exceed an amount 71.4 billion dollars in damage. The results would later prove to be devastating to families and individuals hardest hit by economic times, and poor resources in dealing with natural disasters. The local religious communities were anteing up and opening their doors to help with the displaced in the city of Newark, as well as the homeless shelters already in place and filled to capacity. However well intended, this was not enough. The Muslim communities in and around Newark area were the least prepared to handle to the displacement, and to accommodate relief services. This was to one of the founders of Ma’oon Inc. troublesome.
Families were able to find shelter with other Muslim families who could accommodate them. In one instance, one family accommodated a family of five including a grandmother and an expecting mother throughout the state of emergency. The arrangement did bring the two families closer and have remained close ever since. The bond was reminiscent of the Ansari and Muhajireen. That was one of the better stories to be heard, the plethora of harsh conditions and finding no help were overwhelming. Many of the masjids were simply overwhelmed. A few of the grassroots organizations that operate throughout the cities pitched in to lend a hand with whatever resources they had available. A search for solutions and aid led to a meeting in December of that year to seven families who were invited to a dinner and discussion about not only relief from natural and man-made disasters, but ongoing sadaqah to assist families, and individuals. The goal of Ma’oon Inc. is to identify our neighbors within 40 houses of our own and given them their rights to food, clothing, and shelter, advice and overall care. We hope at some point to network with other grassroots organizations to connect forty houses in every direction across the greater Newark area for a start.