Elected officials, neighborhood partners and community members joined a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on Monday with Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) unveiling a new state-of-the-art community center in Flushing offering expanded services for immigrant families, seniors and small business owners.
AAFE co-developed One Flushing, the largest 100 percent affordable residential project to open in Flushing in decades. The community center, located on the second floor of 133-29 41st Ave., is a one-stop shop for immigration, senior, small business and homeownership programs and services.
After opening One Flushing’s 231 units of housing for low- and middle-income residents earlier this year, AAFE’s co-executive directors, Jennifer Sun and Thomas Yu, were proud and excited to debut the brand new community hub.
“AAFE believes in a holistic approach to community development, which is why One Flushing not only addresses Flushing’s critical need for affordable housing, but also offers essential multilingual community services, programs to empower entrepreneurs and homeowners and support for Flushing’s growing senior population,” Sun and Yu said.
One Flushing includes a new location of the AAFECare Senior Center, with a beautiful outdoor garden for exercise sessions and passive recreation, a dance studio, game/television room and an all-purpose room where daily meals and cultural and social activities will take place. An adjoining light-filled office space serves as a new home for AAFE’s Flushing Community Services, as well as Renaissance Economic Development Corporation (REDC) and AAFE Community Development Fund (AAFE CDF).
The offices at One Flushing, situated adjacent to the LIRR Railroad’s Main Street Station and 7 train, boast a convenient location in the heart of the downtown area. AAFE will continue to operate a separate office at 35-34 Union St. in Flushing, where the organization’s Youth Program and Workforce Development Program are based.
AAFE’s counselors are available to assist community members with citizenship applications, family petitions, Medicare applications, medical billing issues, SNAP benefits (food stamps), reduced fare MetroCards and SCRIE applications (senior housing rent exemptions). Residents may also enroll in regularly scheduled naturalization classes, including English language and American civics courses. Services are available in English, Chinese and Korean.
REDC, AAFE’s small business affiliate, is offering expanded services for local entrepreneurs, including low-interest small business loans, counseling and workshops for startup businesses in Chinese and Korean. Business financing is available up to $250,000.
AAFE CDF, the organization’s homeownership affiliate, is offering in-depth homebuyer counseling and assistance, assistance with completing mortgage applications, as well as Chinese-language homebuyer education seminars and workshops.
Senator John Liu said, “It’s inspiring to see the ways AAFE enacts its mission to be of authentic value to the Asian American community, and the opening of the new Queens headquarters is not any different. With its holistic list of on-site resources, this hub is a reflection of AAFE’s advanced understanding of the needs of the community whom they support.”
Councilman Peter Koo congratulated AAFE on the grand opening of its Community Service Center.
“This centralized Flushing location in One Flushing is primed to serve our constituents with a variety of housing, immigrant, senior and small business services,” Koo said. “AAFE’s expansion is a telltale sign of the health and vibrancy of not only its own growth and services, but that of our entire Flushing community. I look forward to continuing our partnership on behalf of the community we serve.”
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky commended the AAFE’s hard work for striving to help residents get the help they need.
“The center is an integral part in the Asian-American community and I am thankful to see AAFE step in and help our residents take advantage of the exciting programs and resources in a new state-of-the-art facility,” Stavisky said. “It will serve as a resource to provide a better future for our neighbors in Flushing.”
AAFE’s One Flushing office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Community members are encouraged to make an appointment by calling 718-961-0888. A community open house, with information about all of AAFE’s programs — including community, senior, small business and homeownership programs — will be held Saturday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.