Nov. 15, 2019 By Allie Griffin
A new community center for the immigrant justice organization Make the Road New York (MRNY) just got a boost of funds thanks to Assemblymember Aravella Simotas.
Simotas secured $125,000 in funding for the new Queens community center currently being built in Corona. Construction of the building, located at 104-19 Roosevelt Ave., began in February and is expected to be completed in 2020.
The 24,000-square-foot community center will increase MRNY’s programming space by 88 percent. MRNY was founded in 1997 and supports immigrant and working-class New Yorkers through free services primarily for low-income immigrants and their families.
The three-story building will be used for services such as English language and computer literacy classes, citizenship exam preparation, and for healthcare and legal service resources. It will include several private offices, multiple classrooms, a community gathering area, flexible education space, outdoor space and a commercial kitchen and shared dining area.
“This landmark community center will enable a dramatic expansion of our programs and services to better meet the needs of our communities,” said Deborah Axt, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York. “In a time when many from our community are living in fear, this building is a sign of hope and a place where we all belong. We are extremely grateful to Assemblymember Simotas for this support to help make this dream a reality.”
The new center will be less costly to operate in terms of ongoing maintenance, which means more funds can be dedicated to services.
A number of green features are also being built into the community center including natural ventilation, non-toxic finishes, low flow fixtures and on-site rainwater collection.
“All immigrants should have access to suitable spaces where they can develop their skills for professional success, obtain the resources they need, and nurture their intellectual abilities,” Simotas said in a statement. “MRNY’s community center will be a place where they can achieve those necessities.”