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Commonpoint Queens Staff Unsung Heroes

Commonpoint Queens pantry deliveries

Commonpoint Queens, formerly known as the Samuel Field Y and Central Queens Y, continues to serve the community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since closing their doors to traditional programming on Monday, March 16th Commonpoint Queens’ staff immediately pivoted to virtual services for their clients including live stream and on-demand programs for everything from early childhood learning to exercise classes, and from mental health counseling for older adults and young people to enrichment classes for people with developmental disabilities. Simultaneously, they opened emergency childcare REC (Regional Enrichment Centers) in their Sam Field Center (Little Neck) and Central Queens (Forest Hills) facilities and staff are operating six additional sites in NYC public schools, and began home deliveries of prepared meals and groceries from their digital food pantry to homebound seniors and immune-compromised individuals.

Commonpoint Queens’ CEO, Danielle Ellman stated, “Continuing our work on behalf of the community is only possible because of the amazing Commonpoint Queens staff. They are our unsung heroes. People who normally work in many other areas of the agency are now delivering food to homebound seniors. Staff from across the agency are providing emergency childcare for our frontline medical personnel, first responders, and essential workers. Our entire mental health staff provides teletherapy. And, there are many, many more examples. Every day they come to work and serve the community.”

People in need of assistance can call 929-255-6060 Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm or complete their online emergency assistance form at https://www.commonpointqueens.org/commonpoint-queens-emergency-assistance/

Staff is preparing for the return to normalcy and is ready to help individuals and families first stabilize their lives then look to build long-term security. Members of the Job Assistance Department are helping people update their resumes and place them in jobs. The Job Supports Team is helping people prepare for the workforce with ESOL, HSE, Digital Literacy, and Vocational Training classes.

Ellman said, “Our community needs crisis assistance, help to find work, and counseling to process all that was lost. We are living in very difficult times where the levels of job loss came on faster than ever seen before. We are committed to being here for the community as we all rebuild.”

A few samples of ongoing programming conducted by Commonpoint Queens’ staff include.

Mental Health Services

  • In March we served 550 unduplicated clients providing 1363 hours of service including individual, group and family tele-psychotherapy, individual telepsychiatry (including assessments and medication management), individual telehealth monitoring and telephonic peer support. Our registered nurse is tracking all patients who have contracted the virus or have a household member who had/has the virus.

High School and College Success Programs

  • The SAFE program at John Bowne High School offers 15 group activities a week for students to join, socialize, and build skills while at home including fitness, yoga, acting, cooking, art, school support, career readiness, media critique, mindfulness and more. Staff also call 250+ students for weekly check-ins on their wellbeing and remote learning.

  • Martin Van Buren High School programs continue to offer individual, group, and crisis counseling sessions to at-risk students, in addition, we cover mental health topics such as anxiety, stress reduction, and tips and tools to stay safe during the quarantine.  We also have Health and Wellness workshops like Yoga, HIIT, Cooking classes, Dance Parties and Calisthenics. We offer Social Emotional Learning and Art exploration activities such as Journaling, Brainteasers, virtual tours of museums and national parks, Creative Arts and painting workshops. We have youth development and character-building activities such as Youth organization workshops, Ted Talks, Career Exploration, Resume Building, Interview skills. We continue to engage in College access and keep our students engaged in the college process to successful completion. We engage them in recreational activities like virtual games such as UNO, Kahoot, Tik Tok, and Team Challenges.


More About Commonpoint Queens

The social services organization Commonpoint Queens helps individuals and families of diverse backgrounds find support, connections and opportunities during all stages of their lives. Guided by the Jewish values of service and justice for six decades, the agency has a range of programs at 52 sites across Queens, assisting 50,000 people each year. To learn more, go to www.commonpointqueens.org.