On Monday, elected officials and community supporters cut the ribbon to the second-floor space, which is home to the organization’s new AAFECare Senior Center.
The facility boasts a dance studio, game and television room, and all-purpose room where daily meals will be served and social activities will take place. It also has an outdoor garden, where seniors can partake in exercise and passive recreation.
“It’s a real oasis from the hectic street life in Flushing,” said Jennifer Sun, AAFE’s co-executive director. “We hope that this community space is an opportunity for AAFE to play its small role in helping to bring community members together, and really support new immigrants in finding their footing here.”
The office will also offer community services like assistance with citizenship applications, Medicare and SNAP benefits and senior housing exemptions. Services are available in English, Chinese and Korean.
One Flushing will be the new home of the Renaissance Economic Development Corporation (REDC), AAFE’s small business affiliate that offers low-interest loans, counseling and workshops to small businesses.
AAFE Community Development Fund, the group’s homeownership arm, will offer counseling, assistance completing mortgage applications, and seminars.
According to Sun, AAFE will maintain its original Flushing office, located at 35-34 Union Street. That site will operate the organization’s youth programs and workforce development initiatives.
The community can visit AAFE’s new community center during an open house on Sunday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Congresswoman Grace Meng said she was “wowed” by the garden oasis when she walked in.
“It’s really awesome to have this center,” she said, “where so many of our growing community members have a place to go to.”
Councilman Peter Koo added that the One Flushing site is also conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Flushing.
“This location will certainly serve everyone in our community well,” he said.
The AAFE office is just one aspect of the 10-story, 231-unit affordable housing development, which also features retail space, community facility, children’s playroom, gym and terraces on the roof.
It will assist Flushing residents like 77-year-old Dao Sen Lin, who came to AAFE last year to ask for help with the naturalization process. With the help of an AAFE staffer, he became a citizen last August.
“She helped me a lot throughout the process,” Lin said through a translator. “She was the reason I was able to become a U.S. citizen.”