Flushing councilwoman partners with organization to assist residents applying for government benefits, social services

Councilmember Sandra Ung joined QARI staff to announce a new partnership to provide benefit application assistance to the constituents in the Councilmember’s district office in Flushing on Friday, March 24. (Photo courtesy of Ung’s office)

Flushing Councilwoman Sandra Ung on Friday, March 24, announced a partnership with Quincy Asian Resource, Inc. (QARI) to provide assistance to constituents applying for government benefits and other social services. 

Ung was joined by QARI Program Manager Letty Liu, QARI President and CEO Philip Chong and Chief Operating Officer Emily Canner in her Flushing office, located at 135-27 38th Ave., to announce the new partnership. 

“The first step is educating people that these benefits exist and are available to them, the more difficult part is going through the application process, especially if you have limited English proficiency,” Ung said. “My office already provides this help, but having QARI representatives in my district office twice a month dedicated to this work will allow us to serve even more people.”

QARI’s mission is to foster and improve the social, cultural, economic and civic lives of immigrants and their families in order to benefit their communities, according to its website. Through collaborations and partnerships, QARI provides culturally competent services, such as workforce development, adult education programs, youth development and cultural events, as well as information and referrals to public or other community organizations. 

During the pandemic, Ung partnered with QARI to provide culturally sensitive meals to homebound seniors. QARI was later selected by the city to serve as an anchor food program to provide pan-Asian meals to needy New Yorkers across the city.

“We know costs are going up post-pandemic due to inflation, and these programs are becoming so critical for immigrant families,” Chong said. “We appreciate the support from Councilmember Ung to provide more language-competent services to the underserved in the community in terms of the application and interview process so they are better prepared to access these benefits.”

QARI representatives can help apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program, Emergency Rental Assistance Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and NYCHA housing, to name just a few public benefit programs.

QARI staff will be in Ung’s district office the first and third Monday of every month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on Monday, April 3, and continuing through the end of the year. 

Walk-ins will be accommodated if possible, but reservations are highly recommended and can be made by phone at (718) 888-8747 or by email at [email protected]. The Council member’s district office is located at 135-27 38th Avenue, Suite 388, in Flushing.

Services will be available in Mandarin, Cantonese, Farsi, Hindi and Spanish. People should bring identification and a piece of mail or some other way to prove their address. A typical appointment lasts about 45 minutes.

Since taking office, Ung has focused on bringing free legal and other professional services to her district office to assist constituents. Groups and organizations she has partnered with include CUNY Citizenship Now, CUNY Law School, the Queens Chamber of Commerce Small Business Resource Network, Queens Legal Services, Communities Resist, New York Legal Assistance Group and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.