Queens, NY – Commonpoint Queens and HIAS today announced that they will partner to provide resettlement and other vital services for refugees in and around New York City. Starting this fall, Commonpoint Queens will join HIAS’ U.S. Resettlement Network as an affiliate, and HIAS resettlement staff will join the team at the Queens-based non-profit to deliver services currently provided by HIAS in New York.
“Commonpoint Queens strives and excels in helping community members return from crisis to stability, we are so excited to partner with HIAS and intentionally extend our resources and connections to refugees,” said Danielle Ellman, CEO of Commonpoint Queens. “The borough of Queens is amazing because of the shared community spaces for so many different cultures and perspectives. We are grateful to be able to help bridge gaps, strengthen communities, and set our new neighbors up with opportunities for success.”
“HIAS welcomes refugees across the United States, working primarily through partners that are Jewish human service agencies who take a holistic approach to resettlement. For the last seven years in New York City, however, HIAS has been resettling refugees without a human service agency partner,” said HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield. “I am thrilled that, starting on October 1, 2022, HIAS will strengthen our resettlement program by partnering with Commonpoint Queens, an amazing and comprehensive Jewish social service agency, to welcome refugees of all races and religions to New York City and the United States of America.”
For more than 135 years, HIAS has welcomed newcomers and resettled thousands of refugees in New York City, providing initial resettlement, case management, and career services. Through its Workforce division, Commonpoint Queens has successfully provided many of these same services for the last decade, and will now increase its reach beyond the borough of Queens through this partnership – becoming the sole Jewish organization providing refugee resettlement services in New York City under the U.S. State Department’s Refugee Admissions Program.
Since its opening in October 2020, the wide array of programs and services at Commonpoint Queens’ Jack and Shirley Silver Hub – the home of Commonpoint Queens’ Workforce services – has helped over 9,000 New Yorkers to prepare for self-sufficient futures. With an emphasis on preparing their clients for jobs that offer higher starting wages, benefits and career ladders, the Hub offers a wealth of training and job placement options, complemented by comprehensive social supports including benefit enrollment, food pantry access, and mental health services to help overcome any barriers to employment.
“Queens is ‘The World’s Borough,’ and we wear that moniker with pride — but if we are to truly live up to it, we must be a safe haven for all those who yearn to breathe free. That’s why I’m thrilled to see Commonpoint Queens move our borough’s vision forward by partnering with HIAS to serve refugees and asylum seekers,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Commonpoint Queens is one of our borough’s stellar organizations that exemplify community service by supporting our families, no matter where they come from. To those families who need a home, we welcome you with open arms and hearts.”
Commonpoint Queens will ensure continuity of resettlement services to all refugees being resettled by HIAS in New York, and will take over their pipeline of refugee cases as of October 1, 2022. The organization will also welcome HIAS volunteers, in addition to expanding recruitment of new volunteers, to continue their work with refugees at the program’s new home.
“In addition to these life changing services, Commonpoint Queens is looking forward to collaborating with this wonderful and engaged volunteer base, continuing to nurture and strengthen the volunteer capacity of NYC’s Jewish community, who have shown their support over and over again for refugees,” said Ellman.