March 31, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senior Director of Resource Development
718-643-8000 ext. 18
THE ARAB-AMERICAN FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER ACCELERATES GROWTH WITH OPENING OF SECOND OFFICE IN QUEENS
March 2021 – The Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC), a non-profit organization that provides social services to immigrants and refugees across New York City, is pleased to announce the official opening of a second Queens-based office. In response to the growing need for culturally and linguistically competent service delivery, AAFSC now offers services out of 12 physical locations throughout the five boroughs.
“The Arab-American Family Support Center has expanded our presence in Queens to ensure we can reach the borough’s most vulnerable and under-resourced communities,” said Rawaa Nancy Albilal, President & CEO of AAFSC. “We are proud to scale our culturally and linguistically competent, trauma-informed approach. COVID-19 has laid bare the need for our services in Queens and throughout New York City.”
For over 26 years, AAFSC has been providing two-generational services to New York City’s immigrant, refugee, and low-income families. They offer English lessons, college and career pathways for youth, case management survivors to survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, parenting classes, legal services, emergency financial assistance, resource navigation, and mental health support. Collectively, AAFSC’s staff members speak 27 languages and growing, extending their reach across the city’s diverse communities. As a settlement house, the agency is geographically embedded in the communities that they serve which translates to better, real-time understanding of evolving challenges.
“Arab-American Family Support Center has been a cornerstone for our immigrant and refugee neighbors since 1994. The opening of their second Queens office is a milestone for our community, as it increases access to their essential services like free vision check ups. I am deeply grateful for their vital work in distributing dignity across our city and am honored to count them as a neighbor,” said Assembly Member Zohran K. Mamdani
To celebrate the opening of AAFSC’s new space, the agency held a special Vision Day event in partnership with Helen Keller International (HKI). Through this event, HKI provided free eye examinations and glasses to youth, ages 5-21. This initiative allowed low-income families to receive essential, often cost-prohibitive, eye care. To combat the food insecurity many of these families also face, Nile Gourmey Deli generously donated bags of essential groceries for families to take home with them. Through these dual partnerships, AAFSC is proud to celebrate its expansion while promoting the health and well-being of vulnerable families in New York.
The agency has been headquartered in Brooklyn since 1994, opened its first Queens office in 2013 and an additional community center in the Bronx in 2020. Since 2017, AAFSC has offered Anti-Violence services in the Family Justice Centers in all five boroughs. In 2019, AAFSC began offering SNAP enrollment services at Maimonides Medical Center and art wellness sessions at P.S. 139 in Brooklyn. As a founding member, AAFSC also provides youth-based services at Khalil Gibran International Academy, a New York City public high school dedicated to fostering intercultural understanding.
The Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC) is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization created in 1994 to provide culturally and linguistically competent, trauma-informed social services to low-income immigrants and refugees throughout New York City. AAFSC’s mission is to empower new immigrants with the tools they need to successfully acclimate to the world around them and become active participants in their communities. AAFSC initiatives operate across four priority areas–promote, prevent, get ready, and communicate–to promote wellness, prevent gender-based violence and child abuse, prepare family members to lead productive lives, and communicate community needs to partners and policymakers. While services are open to anyone in need, AAFSC has gained expertise in providing culturally and linguistically competent, trauma-informed services to marginalized and under-resourced Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian immigrant and refugee communities. In 2020, they provided services to 9,000 vulnerable New Yorkers from 148 countries of origin.