Community leaders in Brooklyn say a church there has been ignored in the two years since Sandy damaged it.
The pastor of the United Community Baptist Church in Coney Island says he needs about $2.5 million to repair the building.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries sent letters to the four biggest banks in the country asking for help in funding the work.
He says the federal government can’t help houses of worship because of the separation of church and state, but banks have a responsibility to the community.
“This was a church that was a center of religious and non-religious civic activity,” Jeffries said Wednesday.
“This past Sunday, I celebrated my 17th year as pastor of this church and had no service. I could not. There was no place for me to go. My congregation could only speak to me by conference call, by telephone,” said the church’s pastor, Connis Mobley.
The pastor plans on holding a service on the street outside the church to bring attention to the cause.