First, 8 by 12: the width and length, in feet, of the wooden structure that housed the center. Then, 5,000: the approximate number of day laborers who have found work through the organization since its creation in 2001. And finally, 120: the estimated number of feet the shack traveled on Oct. 29, when Hurricane Sandy sent it hurtling into a nearby parking lot, battering the already sagging, tired structure. In the post-Hurricane Sandy period, New York’s immigrant day laborers have emerged as a vital resource. The mold and detritus might not have been cleared away without them, and the rebuilding process has once again sent residents clamoring for their muscle power. Few realize, however, that one of the most established day labor resources in the region was nearly toppled by the storm, at the moment when it would be needed the most.
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