Helping Hands in Sunnyside – Sunnyside Community Services

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Sunnyside Community Services After-School Programs
Sunnyside Community Services After-School Programs

For the past 36 years, Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) has been serving Queens residents with a variety of services and programs for all ages, from after-school services for elementary school children, college readiness and job skills training programs for teens and young adults, family literacy and computer courses for families, to services for active and homebound seniors, including a vibrant center for active older adults and a multi-lingual home care staff of over 2,000 trained workers.

Located at 43-31 39th Street in Sunnyside, SCS is proud to offer what Judith Zangwill, executive director, calls “a continuum of care.”

“The agency has changed dramatically since it was founded in 1974,” said Zangwill. “It was initially started as a senior center by and for local seniors. Home care was added soon afterwards, followed by youth services. Now SCS is a multi-generational, multi-service agency that allows for seamless transition from one service to another as an individual or a family’s need change.”
This provides what Zangwill calls a “holistic approach.”

“Because of the array of services we offer,” Zangwill said, “I think of it as one-stop shopping. All of these various systems are hard to navigate, but by going through SCS, a person can take advantage of our experience and not have to go searching for access to the services they need.”
“That’s the advantage of providing a continuum of care,” said Zangwill. “Our members and clients already trust and know us, so we can help them move between services easily. We take great pride in that.”

One critical part of the continuum is their Social Adult Day Care program, according to Zangwill. The program provides access to a safe and comfortable facility, recreational and therapeutic activities, snacks, medication reminders, and more for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disabilities. This provides a vital service and respite for families that care for a loved one or family member but need help dealing with difficulties presented in caring for individuals with dementia.

“We decided Adult Day Care is an important part of our continuum, even though it is staff-intensive,” said Zangwill. “At SCS we have a ratio of one staff member to every four participants. The program is too important to give up or reduce our quality of service. Thankfully, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation believed in us, and gave us two years of support to develop a self-sustainable model.”

SCS is holding its Annual Benefit Gala on Thursday, October 20 at Studio Square, located at 35-44 37th Street in Long Island City. SCS will be honoring Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Emblem Health for their contributions to the community. For more information about the programs and services available at Sunnyside Community Services, or details on the Benefit Gala, call 718-784-6173, extension 434, or go to their web site at scsny.org.