First Lady Mary Pat Christie, pictured here last year, announced today that the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund will provide a $600,000 grant to Operation HOPE.Ed Murray/The Star-Ledger 
BRICK — Just two months after Marie O’Boyle and her family moved into a ranch-style home in the Cherry Quay section of Brick, Hurricane Sandy struck. Two feet of water flooded the home.

More than five months later O’Boyle is still waiting on her settlement from her flood insurance company, while her and her husband debate how to rebuild in the most economical way.

"We’re just really having a dilemma about whether to knock it down and put up a modular or rebuild altogether or to raise the existing structure," O’Boyle said. "It’s a complex issue. We keep going back and forth on it."

A grant from the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, which is chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie, aims to help residents, like O’Boyle, navigate the maze of financial questions that linger for thousands of people affected by the Oct. 29 storm.

"It’s such a labyrinth in terms of what you are allowed to get whether you raise your house, whether you knock it down, whether you got this amount of money from insurance, and it’s hard to figure out all that," Christie said.

The nonprofit group Operation HOPE will try to help storm victims answer those tough questions through its Project Restore HOPE initiative, which received a $600,000 grant from the relief fund. Christie announced the grant today at the recreation center in Brick Township, where one of up to six centers across the state providing free financial counseling will be located.

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