Generous supporters help struggling families receive emergency assistance
While COVID-19 cases in New York have steadily declined over the past couple of months and currently remain stable, the economic fallout from the health crisis has left many Queens families on the edge. Seeing the urgent need, Queens Community House has committed all its resources to help our neighbors.
Thanks to caring community members who donated to a COVID-19 fundraising campaign, the organization has been able to expand the capacity of its pantries; increase home-delivered meals service to older adults; provide emergency assistance grants to families in financial crisis; and assist families in enrolling in critical benefits programs, such as food stamps and unemployment.
The staff could not have the tremendous impact it had without caring individuals stepping up to help those in need. A quick highlight of the impact from April through June include:
$209,000 in emergency cash grants were provided to 354 households to pay for utility bills, medical expenses, infant/childcare costs, and rent arrears;
Over 1,700 referrals were made for housing assistance, benefits enrollment, mental health counseling, or financial advisement;
Our 2 food pantries are distributing groceries to 1,000 households per week;
1,099 older adults were contacted for the city’s Cool NYC: Air Condition Program.
These numbers do not fully highlight the critical and often complex needs that our families are facing. Below is an example of the cases our staff are seeing every day.
Marta and her partner recently lost their jobs but are ineligible for unemployment benefits. They had exhausted all of their savings and had been attending the weekly food pantry at QCH’s Forest Hills Center to feed their family. They were at the end of their ropes after vigorously looking for work and finding nothing available. We were able to pay two months of her back rent and utilities. We recently got news that the bakery where she had hired her back, and she is also picking up house cleaning jobs to help pay their rent moving forward. Marta is so grateful for the donors like you who cared enough to help.
Another case comes from our Youth Development Center at Newtown High School. The parents of one of our students, both contracted the Coronavirus and racked up steep medical bills in the process. Compounding the problem, both lost their jobs, making it difficult to pay off their newly incurred medical debt as well as keep up with other expenses, including internet, phone, and gas. A grant from QCH has gotten them out of crippling debt and back on their feet.
These are just two of the hundreds of grants issued.