Organization Name: Selfhelp Community Services, Inc.
Project Title: Selfhelp's Flushing Community Campus
Project Location: Flushing, Queens
Selfhelp opened its first affordable senior residence (KI) in Flushing in 1965, the first of six Flushing Community Campus buildings to be built over the next 50 years. Starting with this building, the Campus has developed to exemplify Selfhelp’s mission – to enable seniors to age independently and with dignity. KI, designed to meet Holocaust survivors’ needs of both affordable housing and social support services, was the first iteration of Selfhelp’s Housing with Services model. The Campus grew as Selfhelp responded to the needs of NYC’s senior community. Selfhelp built five more residences for low-income seniors; opened a Senior Center to provide Flushing seniors with creative engagement and direct services; developed its Virtual Senior Center (VSC) to enable homebound seniors to connect with others; and will soon open a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to provide healthcare to the immediate Selfhelp community as well as the larger Flushing community.
The Flushing Community Campus is made up of six affordable senior residences; Selfhelp’s Benjamin Rosenthal-Prince Street Innovative Senior Center; its VSC; and the Charles B. Wang FQHC. The six residential buildings, with 809 apartments and 1,000+ residents, operate using the Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model (SHASAM), providing residents with on-site social services, as well as social, educational and health programming. Buildings have Cyber classrooms, rooftop recreational space and gardens. The Innovative Senior Center, one of the first senior centers in New York City to be designated as such, adjoins KI. The 11,000 sf Center provides social services, activity programming and lunch to members of Flushing’s senior community, while the VSC connects isolated homebound seniors to each other and to Center-like experiences. The 9,000 sf FQHC, in the newest residential building KVII, will provide the Flushing community with clinical and social services in both English and Chinese.
Selfhelp’s Flushing Community Campus serves three distinct communities; Flushing’s senior community, the community of homebound seniors connected by the VSC, and the community of Selfhelp residents. The co-located Innovative Senior Center and FQHC create a hub of directly accessible services for the Flushing senior community. On a daily basis, roughly 400 Flushing seniors take advantage of the Center’s busy schedule of life-enhancing programs and enjoy a nutritious lunch. Once open, the FQHC will give the Flushing community at large, senior center members and Selfhelp residents increased access to quality medical care. The VSC fosters new relationships among its 225 participants, engaging them in a community they would otherwise not have access to. For the community of Selfhelp’s residents, SHASAM provides the support needed to age with independence and dignity. The success of this model is demonstrated by the fact that less than 2% of residents transfer to nursing homes each year.
Selfhelp Community Services, Inc., is an 80-year-old non-sectarian, non-profit, 501(c)(3) serving over 20,000 elderly and poor New Yorkers each year through a range of home and community-based programs. Selfhelp’s mission is to maintain the independence and dignity of seniors and at-risk populations through a spectrum of housing, home health care and social services. Selfhelp is a leader in applying new methods and technologies to address the changing needs of its community, and it continues to serve as the "last surviving relative" to its historic constituency, victims of Nazi persecution. Selfhelp upholds its mission by providing services through 26 sites in New York City and Nassau County. These include affordable senior residences; client centered technologies; Naturally Occurring Retirement Community programs; senior centers; home health care; case management programs; Selfhelp Alzheimer's Resource Program; guardianship programs; Selfhelp Senior Source and Care Transitions.