On October 17, SCS unveiled a new state-of-the-art facility in Long Island City that will allow us to expand our Queens footprint. The 7,713-square-foot space houses our Home Health Aide Training Program, caregiver services, and a portion of our staff offices. The site will also be used to host community events, concerts, support groups, and meetings. The new space was highlighted at an event held on the evening of Monday, October 17.
The new program space is located on the second floor of 52-41 Center Boulevard, a new contemporary residential building developed by TF Cornerstone and designed by ODA New York with SLCE Architects as the architect of record. Situated in the Hunters Point South area of Long Island City, the building is located just steps from the waterfront and offers panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.
“Our new facility is located in a beautiful building in a stunning area of Long Island City,” said Judy Zangwill, Executive Director of SCS. “But more importantly, the additional space will allow us to improve our programs and make a difference in the lives of even more Queens residents who need our services.”
Caregiver Support and Home Health Aide Training
SCS will primarily use the space for two crucial programs: Caregiver Support and the Home Health Aide Training Program. Caregiver Support offers services to individuals who are caring for loved ones as they age or after the diagnosis of a serious illness or disability. For caregivers, SCS offers respite services, long-term care planning, help with applications for Medicaid and other benefits, counseling, peer support groups, and educational workshops.
The Home Health Aide Training Program prepares individuals, primarily immigrant women, to enter a career in the growing healthcare field. Participants in the program learn to help homebound adults with daily activities such as getting dressed, preparing meals, and going to appointments. Those who complete the free, four-week training program are certified by the New York State Department of Health as home health aides. Employment opportunities are available for graduates through SCS’ two affiliated home care agencies – Sunnyside Citywide Home Care Services and Sunnyside Home Care Project. The Home Health Aide Training Program is offered in both English and Spanish.
“The COVID-19 pandemic spotlighted a growing, ongoing need for trained and qualified home health aides, who are essential to the health and well-being of countless New Yorkers,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight. “Sunnyside Community Services’ new state-of-the-art training facility addresses that need, through a workforce development program that will lead to jobs and opportunity for those aiming to learn vital healthcare skills.”
Empire State Development supported the new space through a capital grant recommended by the New York City Regional Economic Development Council. “Sunnyside Community Services’ new facility, which encompasses its home health aide training program and other services that are vital to the surrounding community, represents a strategic public-private partnership,” said New York City Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Winston Fisher, Partner at Fisher Brothers, and Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, City University of New York Chancellor. “Expanding the pipeline of trained home health aide professionals reflects our commitment to creating quality jobs, while also ensuring quality care for those who depend on home health aides every day.”
About the Long Island City Facility
The new community center consists of training areas, office space, a private counseling room, restrooms, a break room, and a welcoming reception area. “The comprehensive social services offered by Sunnyside Community Services are invaluable. As the organization continues to expand and help our neighbors who need it most, we’re excited to see Sunnyside open its doors at 5241 Center Blvd.,” said Jon McMillan, Senior Vice President of TF Cornerstone. “Sunnyside’s new center will provide aid and assistance to the community at large, which in turn will result in the long-term growth and well-being of Long Island City.”
The floor plan includes:
- A 1,350-square-foot training area for SCS’ Home Health Aide Training Program. The room’s large windows boast expansive waterfront views of the Manhattan skyline. This space will also be used for caregiver support groups and information sessions, as well as community events such as concerts and author discussions.
- A 449-square foot multipurpose room.
- A private room for one-on-one meetings between SCS staff and caregivers (167 square feet).
- Office space including a team office area (217 square feet); an individual office (177 square feet); and a 1,530-square-foot area with cubicles.
- A 392-square-foot break room that can accommodate 20 people.
- A 323-square-foot reception area.
- Restrooms, drinking fountains, closets, and an elevator lobby complete the space.
An Important Task Requiring Many Partners
SCS’ Long Island City facility came to fruition due to the hard work of SCS staff and outside collaborators. “An undertaking as large as this one requires dedicated partners and we are lucky to have so many generous, community-minded individuals and institutions in our corner,” said Zangwill. “The new center simply wouldn’t be possible without TF Cornerstone’s significant investment in the space. They built an amazing home for our Home Health Aide Training Program and caregiver program. We are thrilled with the final result and appreciative of all their hard work.”
“Empire State Development, Governor Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, and Empire State Development Commissioner Hope Knight were instrumental allies in this project, providing crucial funding for the Home Health Aide Training space,” continued Zangwill. “As older adults continue to encompass a larger percentage of our city’s population, it is imperative that we train a workforce to meet their needs. Our Home Health Aide Training Program will do just that, preparing individuals to assist older adults in their homes and communities. We are thankful that Empire State Development recognized the urgency of this issue and generously funded this project.”
“To help us furnish the space and run our programs, a number of partners assisted with the effort, securing much needed funds so that the new center would be fully operational,” Zangwill said. “Assembly Member Catherine Nolan, New York City Council Member Julie Won, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., former New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and the New York City agencies that provided financial assistance for this project all played important roles in the development of this new facility. We are so grateful for all of their support.”
In extending its footprint, SCS hopes to achieve three primary objectives: 1) To grow the number of home health aides in New York City by increasing the capacity of the SCS Home Health Aide Training Program; 2) to create a larger and more effective space for SCS’ caregiver program, which offers caregiver support such as respite services, long-term care planning, counseling, workshops, and peer support groups; and 3) to expand SCS’ presence in Long Island City, thereby reaching more New Yorkers who would benefit from SCS programs.
As New York City’s population of older adults continues to grow, the need for both home health aides and caregiver services will grow as well. It is a testament to this project’s importance that so many distinguished partners have chosen to fund and support the new center.
“Congratulations to Sunnyside Community Services for expanding into Long Island City with the opening of this very important training center,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “It is very important that the hard-working aides who care for our neighborhood elderly at home get professional training and support. Much thanks to Judy Zangwill for her leadership and Jon McMillan and everyone at TF Cornerstone for their invaluable contribution. Thanks too to Joe Conley, former Chair of Community Board 2, and all the staff at SCS and other community groups for supporting this. It is very necessary for older adults to receive support to be at home. Thanks to all.”
“The new Home Health Aide Training Program at Sunnyside Community Services will ensure that our elders will have access to ample care and relevant programs that allow them to live independent, healthy, and enriched lives,” said Council Member Julie Won. “I am proud to support SCS as they grow their home health aide program, so that seniors in our district can continue to thrive. Thank you to SCS for your tireless commitment to our seniors.”
“The grand opening of Sunnyside Community Services’ new space is great news for all who rely on SCS to help them achieve their aspirations and live their lives to the fullest,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “This new space will strongly support SCS’s efforts to enrich lives and strengthen communities throughout ‘The World’s Borough.’ I am proud to have allocated funding to help outfit the new space, a first-class facility that will better enable those enrolled in SCS’s Home Health Aide and caregiver programs to receive high-quality training and support.”
“I am thrilled to see Sunnyside Community Services open their long-awaited new program space in Long Island City,” said former councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “SCS provides life enhancing services to thousands of people each year, and I know that many more will be served with this new Long Island City location – one we all fought for together – opening!”
Press are Invited
If you are a members of the media, and would like to attend the unveiling of the new SCS at Long Island City program space, please email us to R.S.V.P.