Sunnyside Community Services gets $2.6M to expand, renovate senior center

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Sunnyside Community Services is getting a much needed change to continue helping local and city-wide seniors.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer surprised the seniors at Sunnyside Community Services, located at 43-31 39th Street, during their lunch on August 30 to announce that he has secured $2.6 million in capital funding for the expansion and complete renovation of the organization’s senior center.

“Sunnyside Community Services is a borough-wide institution that each and every single day gives seniors the opportunity to enjoy life through quality recreational activities, inspirational programming and interactive services that keeps them active and engaged,” said Van Bramer. “This is the place where our seniors are taken care of and nothing is more important than taking care of our senior citizens.”

The plans, which are expected to begin within one year, will include the expansion of the Sunnyside Community Service’s Adult Day Services program by opening the space and increasing it by 1,000 square feet to serve close to 20 more seniors. The program will also be relocated to the front of the second floor in order to be easily accessible and safer for seniors. The funding will also feature the installation of new fixtures, flooring and equipment.

The expansion will also double the capability of the Home Health Aide Training program at the center and provide home care for more seniors. It will also allow the Case Management Services to be upgraded and increase the number of caregivers providing therapy for seniors throughout the city.

“We all want you to consider this your second home,” said Judy Zangwill, executive director of Sunnyside Community Services, to the seniors. “We feel all these improvements will make for a much more welcoming environment and greatly improve the experience for seniors.”

The Sunnyside Community Services began almost 40 years ago as a senior center, said Zangwill, and now continues to offer different programs to seniors from all over the borough. Each week the center offers 53,000 hours of health and home care services to 1,500 homebound western Queens residents and serves 15,000 people annually.