SCS, a Queens-based community organization that improves the lives of more than 16,000 people annually, has received $275,000 in funding from the federal government. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Senator Chuck Schumer helped secure the funding which will support two SCS programs: a training program for individuals who wish to become home health aides, and a youth program for elementary, middle school, and high school students at Woodside Houses in Woodside, Queens.
“We are so honored that the U.S. Congress has generously funded two of our programs,” said Judy Zangwill, Executive Director of SCS. “These programs help improve the Queens community in many ways. Our Home Health Aide Training Program offers an entryway to the home health care field for those who are unemployed or underemployed. Once the trainees graduate and are certified, they care for homebound seniors who are some of our most vulnerable citizens. And our Safety, Learning, and College Access Program at Woodside Houses provides youth with programming that helps them build skills, increase their academic performance, and explore college and careers with confidence.”
The SCS projects were two of 10 community projects in New York’s 14th Congressional District to be nominated by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “I know these projects will be deeply impactful,” said Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “We are thrilled these projects will now become reality — and we are confident that all these projects fulfill our nation’s collective goals, advance our collective pursuit of justice, and are deeply worthy of federal support.”
Home Health Aide Training Program
The SCS Home Health Aide Training Program will receive $175,000 in funding from the federal government. This workforce development program helps unemployed and underemployed individuals, primarily immigrant women, enter the healthcare field as home health aides who help elderly homebound clients with daily activities such as getting dressed, preparing meals, and going to appointments. The four-week free training is offered in both Spanish and English, and is open to those without a high school diploma or who have limited work experience. Recent data show that 92% of trainees in this program were unemployed and/or receiving public benefits at the time of enrollment. Upon completion of the program, graduates receive certification by the New York State Department of Health. Many graduates are placed in jobs with SCS’s two affiliated home care agencies – Sunnyside Citywide Home Care Services and Sunnyside Home Care Project – and become members of 1199SEIU with full union benefits. More than 300 people are expected to take part in the training program in 2022.
Safety, Learning, and College Access Program
The Safety, Learning, and College Access Program will receive $100,000 in funding. The program will be provided to 70 young people at Cornerstone Community Center at Woodside Houses, a public housing complex in Woodside, Queens. The program’s activities will vary by age, and will include leadership skill building and project-based learning, tutoring, homework help, college advisement and support, career exploration activities, SAT classes, essay writing, field trips to local colleges, and college application assistance.