Queens Chronicle: New senior center opens in Jamaica

Queens Chronicle: New senior center opens in Jamaica - QCH makes space for elders to socialize, exercise and volunteer | July 2023: Close to 100 people attended a ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the Queens Community House Jamaica Older Adult Center at First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica last Wednesday.

Elected officials or their representatives, along with members of the church, representatives of Queens Community House, one of the largest social service organizations in the borough, and residents were in attendance for the event, where seniors were able to socialize and enjoy live music and food.

State Sen. Leroy Comre (D-St. Albans), Councilwoman Nantasha Williams (D-St. Albans) and Cherise Parson, special assistant to Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens), had stopped by for the festivities.

“First Presbyterian Church has always been about service, and it’s wonderful to see them linking up with QCH, another great organization that has been helping the Queens community for so many years,” Comrie said in a statement. “I look forward to coming to this center and watching it flourish so that we can take care of the senior community that paved the way for us.”

Williams said that there are many seniors in the Southeast Queens community and that she was happy to see the diversity of the area reflected in the room.

“Our seniors are the beacons of our community and made our community what it is today, so we need to ensure that they can age in place and with grace and have all they need to live a well life,” Williams said in a prepared statement.

The center is on the third floor within the church’s compound where its offices, soup kitchen and a gymnasium are located at 89-60 164 St. The center is open on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a QCH spokesman told the Queens Chronicle.

The Rev. Russell Marquis, the assistant pastor filling in for the Rev. Patrick O’Connor, who leads the church, told the Chronicle he is excited for the new center.

“It offers a full range of services, including referrals and assistance with Medicaid and Medicare, there is a meal that will be served every day, exercise, and there are educational topics of discussions regarding issues that affect seniors,” Marquis said.

Ben Thomases, the QCH executive director, said in a statement he was grateful and thanked O’Connor for allowing the organization to serve older adults in Jamaica at the center.

“We’re excited to replicate what we learned from our 45 years operating older adult centers to ensure our newest site is a culturally-rich environment that engages and serves older adults in Jamaica for years to come,” Thomases told the Queens Chronicle via email. “Neighbors can come to the QCH Jamaica Older Adult Center to engage with peers, make new friends, enjoy a hot meal, keep physically active, learn new skills and explore new interests, and give back through volunteer opportunities.”

Icylin Fish, a Jamaica resident, was happy to attend the grand opening.

“I learned about the different services this center will be having every week, from providing meals to exercise activities, so it’ll be nice having this in the Jamaica neighborhood,” Fish said in a statement.

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Also covered in QNS.com.

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