The Arab-American Family Support Center empowers new immigrants with the tools they need to successfully acclimate to the world around them and become active participants in their communities.
The Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-sectarian organization. Established in 1994, AAFSC is the first and largest Arabic-speaking, trauma-informed social service agency in New York City. AAFSC is headquartered in Brooklyn, home to the 3rd largest Arab population in the entire country. As a settlement house and member of United Neighborhood Houses (UNH), AAFSC has taken the initiative in providing culturally and linguistically competent services to members of Arab, Middle-Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA) immigrant communities throughout the five boroughs. Our programs are designed to empower and strengthen the AMEMSA communities, while creating an environment of tolerance and understanding for all nationalities and beliefs. We serve over 6,000 low-income people each year through six main programs: the Preventive Services Program, Adult Education and Literacy Program, Youth Program, Legal Services Program, Health Program and Anti-Violence Program.
We have a full-time staff of 35 and a part-time staff of 11 that is as diverse as the communities we support. AAFSC staff are competent in Arabic, American Sign Language, Bengali, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Tibetan, Nepali, and Spanish and understand the cultural nuances necessary to serve immigrant communities. As is traditional for settlement houses, the majority of our staff are members of the communities with whom we work. Additionally, we are assisted by an average of 50 volunteers each year.
We are continuously expanding and enhancing our services to better fit the needs of New York City’s ever-changing AMEMSA communities. While AAFSC originally began as an organization dedicated to serving the Arab-American immigrant communities, we’ve since expanded our target population to encompass the South Asian communities as well. In response to the influx of AMEMSA immigrants in Queens and the growing demand for our services, AAFSC opened a new office in Long Island/Astoria to expand our programmatic outreach in October 2012. AAFSC has also established on-site partnerships with the Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island Family Justice Centers, so that we are able to better support survivors of domestic violence from our communities across New York City. Furthermore, in recognition of the emotional trauma that so many of our clients must cope with due to flight, migration, resettlement in an unfamiliar country, along with the everyday challenges that many low-income individuals across New York City face, AAFSC took the initiative to become a trauma-informed organization in 2014.