You are reading

Won joins community groups in welcoming migrants to Sunnyside with family-style dinner, resource fair

(Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won's office)

A family-style dinner and resource fair was held in Sunnyside on Friday, July 21, to welcome new migrants to the neighborhood. Won is pictured holding a sign in Spanish which translates to “Welcome to our newest neighbors. (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won’s office)

July 25, 2023 By Michael Dorgan

A family-style dinner and resource fair was held in Sunnyside on Friday, July 21, to welcome new migrants to the neighborhood.

Friday’s event, which was hosted by Councilwoman Julie Won and several community groups, took place at Sunnyside Community Services, located at 43-31 39th St., and around 270 migrants attended.

Each migrant was provided with a nourishing meal prepared by local restaurants La Adelita and Arepa Lady in collaboration with Queens Together, a local food relief organization.

Won’s office funded the event and various community groups were on hand to provide the undocumented immigrants with advice on employment, housing assistance, and legal services. Some of the organizations offering information to immigrants included the New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), Voces Latinas, The Legal Aid Society, Catholic Migration Services, MetroPlusHealth and Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement.

The migrants were also given free clothing which had been donated to Won’s office — including some items donated via various donation drives — while children were treated to face painting. Several yellow-colored signs with Spanish writing were erected inside the premises, with the text of the signs translating to “Welcome to our newest neighbors.”

Won said that there are more than 30 migrant shelters currently operating in her 26th Council district which covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and a portion of Astoria. It is unclear how many migrants are staying at these shelters although it is known that around 54,000 migrants are currently using shelters across the five boroughs.

A family-style dinner and resource fair was held in Sunnyside on Friday, July 21, to welcome new migrants to the neighborhood (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won’s office)

(Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won's office)

Representatives from New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) holding up a sign in Spanish which translates to “welcome to our newest neighbors.” (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won’s office)

“Our new neighbors have traveled thousands of miles by foot risking their lives for hopes of a better future. To welcome them, we hosted a dinner to build community with our new neighbors,” Won said. “Since taking office, we have continued to advocate for critical resources including long-term housing, access to mental health services, and wraparound services to support our neighbors amid the city’s failure to offer more than the bare minimum during the migrant crisis.”

Won said the city and state must do more to ensure undocumented migrants are provided with pathways to permanent residency, housing vouchers, employment programs and legal services.

(Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won's office)

Councilwoman Julie Won, pictured left, distributing food (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won’s office)

Judy Zangwill, the executive director of Sunnyside Community Services, said the organization was happy to greet the new arrivals.

“We hope our neighbors feel more welcomed, supported, and empowered with the information they need to adjust to life in Queens,” Zangwill said.

Her remarks were echoed by Jonathan Forgash, the executive director of Queens Together.

“This evening’s event provided a comforting meal with an extra helping of compassion and hospitality to guests from a neighboring migrant shelter,” Forgash said. “Together, we demonstrated the power of community.”

(Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won's office)

Kids getting their faces painted (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won’s office)

(Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won's office)

Councilwoman Julie Won, pictured, distributing clothes (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won’s office)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.

Astoria welcomes ‘Our House’: A new co-working and community space

Apr. 11, 2024 By Allison Kridle

If you were to ask a Queens resident what’s one thing they want more of, they will likely reply: Space. For Astorians, many crave a place to gather, work, create, and meet neighbors or somewhere that feels like home where they can be productive all in one. Astoria business owners Anna Budinger, Alexandra Wolkoff and Kayli Kunkel saw this void and created Our House, “Astoria’s living room.”