March 10, 2022 By Allie Griffin
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has secured millions for several Queens and Bronx community-based projects in a new government spending bill, she announced Thursday.
The lawmaker secured nearly $7 million in funding for 10 projects — eight of which are in Queens — as part of an omnibus bill the House passed late Wednesday night. The massive bill was passed to keep the federal government funded and open.
The funding secured by Ocasio-Cortez will support renovations at Elmhurst Hospital, multiple educational and vocational training programs, the repair of two public piers in Flushing Bay and the placement of family support counselors in two Queens high schools, among other initiatives.
“From reducing maternal mortality and youth violence, to training a new generation of green labor, I know these projects will be deeply impactful to our families throughout Queens and The Bronx,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. ”
She secured $3 million for Elmhurst Hospital. The hospital will use the money to renovate its obstetrical inpatient facilities so that expectant mothers can deliver and bond with their new babies in private rooms, which Elmhurst Hospital doesn’t have.
She secured another $2 million for Chhaya Community Development Corporation, a Jackson Heights-based organization that provides housing assistance to residents primarily from the South Asian community. The money will help the nonprofit procure a bigger building for its headquarters and create a community space that will allow it to serve 3,000 more clients per year.
The congresswoman also earmarked $225,000 for Queens Community House, an organization that provides many services including offering alternative high schools for students who have either dropped out of school or fallen substantially behind in credits. The funds would be used by QCH to hire additional family support counselors to support students in two schools it operates in Corona and Elmhurst. Currently, QCH has just one counselor who supports students across five schools.
Ocasio-Cortez allocated funding for a second health care facility, in addition to Elmhurst Hospital. A local health center in Corona, Plaza Del Sol Family Health Center, will receive $96,150 to expand and upgrade its telehealth technology to serve more patients.
The lawmaker got approval on two funding requests for Sunnyside Community Services as well.
The first will provide $175,000 for the nonprofit to complete its home health aide training program, which helps unemployed and underemployed individuals, primarily immigrant women, break into the healthcare field. The funds will help SCS provide 300 people with training, job coaching, soft skills development and other wrap-around services.
The second will provide another $100,000 to SCS to help it institute a college access program at the Woodside Houses community center. The funding would support 70 young people who are primarily low-income people of color, by offering the “Too Good for Violence” curriculum, which utilizes social learning theory to develop interpersonal, pro-social and peaceful behaviors facilitated by trained staff in order to build safer relationships and communities.
Ocasio-Cortez also secured $55,000 in funding for another vocational training program at the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in Woodside and the Bronx. The program would help 250 people with job counseling and training.
Lastly, the congresswoman earmarked $138,450 to help restore and stabilize two public waterfront platforms on the Flushing Bay in College Point.
She thanked Queens and Bronx community members for advocating for the projects.
“We are thrilled these projects will now become reality — and we confident that all these projects fulfill our nation’s collective goals, advance our collective pursuit of justice, and are deeply worthy of federal support,” Ocasio-Cortez said.