We promote mental and physical well-being and advance justice and equity in underserved communities.
Through our Community Health & Well-being Program, AAFSC seeks to ensure that all families have the knowledge and tools to manage healthy behaviors, seek care when needed, and live healthy lives. Our Health Program staff connect individuals and families with affordable health care and nutritional assistance benefits. AAFSC is proud to be an official partner of NYC Care, a health care access program that guarantees services at little or no cost to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. This city-wide program allows all New Yorkers to access affordable health care with dignity and respect, regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay.
AAFSC also actively supports individuals in overcoming food insecurity through SNAP enrollment assistance and regular food distribution.
Beyond food security and healthcare access, our Community Health & Well-Being staff have extensive experience connecting clients with any public programs from which they could benefit, such as Cash Assistance and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Equipped with linguistic and cultural competence, AAFSC’s health navigators assist clients in understanding their options and navigating the complex and often linguistically inaccessible healthcare and benefits systems. Staff are trained to filter for any ramifications that benefits enrollment may have on immigration status and to navigate sensitive topics appropriately.
AAFSC’s Mental Health Initiative combines community-level education with direct mental health counseling for individual clients. As first and second-generation immigrants themselves, AAFSC counselors work with clients individually to maintain mental resiliency and attain long-term well-being. As a complement to our direct service program, AAFSC established the Reclaiming Our Health (ROH) project in collaboration with NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Maimonides Medical Center, and community partners, to reimagine culturally responsive mental health support within immigrant communities. Through this partnership, we collaborate on outreach initiatives with the goal of reducing the stigma that prevents many from seeking care. We also seek input about effective interventions from within the community and leverage a vast network of community leaders and experts to channel mental health resources and services broadly.
2,983 individuals enrolled in health insurance and food security benefits
350 events held to educate community members about COVID-19 vaccination, mental health, ERAP, voter rights, and more
400 COVID-19 vaccines facilitated through appointment registration and coordination of free Uber rides
AAFSC’s trauma- and resiliency-informed Community Health and Well-Being team also delivers workshops and outreach to audiences throughout the community. Our outreach focuses on public health topics such as diabetes management, smoking cessation, navigating health coverage, accessing preventive care and screenings, and COVID-19 vaccination.
These events pair critical health information and the importance of primary care with an introduction to available nutrition assistance and healthcare programs, while fostering a welcoming environment to discuss sensitive topics securely and confidentially. Outfitted with personal protective equipment, Community Health and Well-Being staff coordinate canvassing efforts across the city and tabling at community events, focusing on increasing utilization of programs like SNAP, dispelling misconceptions regarding public programs, and answering questions. AAFSC has also built capacity to support with COVID-19 vaccine outreach and enrollment, facilitating hundreds of vaccinations through appointment registration, coordination of free Uber rides to and from vaccine providers, and onsite mobile vaccination units.
AAFSC created our Legal Services Program to address discrimination, racial profiling, loss of employment, detentions, and deportations against the AMENAMSA community in the wake of post-9/11 hostility. Our program has since evolved into a multi-faceted unit providing family-based immigration services, helping immigrants navigate American bureaucracy, citizenship, and family reunification. Our linguistically-accessible services support underserved immigrants and refugees become knowledgeable about their rights, remain with their families, and navigate their immigrant proceedings with confidence and security.
Through our Emergency Relief Fund, we support vulnerable, low-income, immigrant and refugee clients in need of emergency financial assistance to prevent them from becoming homeless, food insecure, falling into situations of harmful debt due to medical and other bills, or remaining in living situations that undermine their safety due to the threat of domestic violence.
AAFSC remains nimble in the face of evolving community need and pivots swiftly to channel direct financial and navigational assistance to address urgent crises, including the economic impact of COVID-19, rising housing insecurity, and the surge of Afghan migrants seeking refuge in the United States.