Tag Archives: services

New Single Stop pilot program helps seniors sign up for benefits

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

The seniors at the Peter Cardella Senior Citizen Center in Ridgewood can now receive help signing up for important benefit programs through a new pilot initiative called the Single Stop Program.

It aims to expand seniors’ access to and enrollment in benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), Extra Help, Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and more.

“It really is a good thing,” said Barbara Toscano, executive director for the Peter Cardella Senior Center. “I think we were picked because this community would have a high level of seniors that would need these programs.”

The Single Stop Program brings in knowledgeable staff members to the senior center once a week who will screen seniors for benefits, help maximize services for individuals, and provide individual assistance in applying for and securing the benefits needed. This is all done through the pilot program’s electronic enrollment system, which will help seniors navigate the many potential assistance opportunities.

“A person can come in to the senior center and want food stamps, and it goes through their computer system,” Toscano said. “It really is wonderful because a lot of times when you have all these forms and paperwork to fill out, it can take over a month and a half sometimes to enroll…the Single Stop Program is working really well here. It runs until November, but they might come back and do it again.”

Single Stop Program staff members will be able to provide follow-up services from their Single Stop sites where seniors can obtain additional services and follow up on issues related to their benefits applications and cases.

“It’s a really nice program. It’s really helpful for the seniors,” Toscano said. “We do all this here at the Peter Cardella Center, but it takes a long time. This gets back to them really quick. Food stamps are so important, especially for seniors. It’s really good for them. We are trying to get a lot of people enrolled and are trying to bring a lot of these benefits to the seniors here.”


Best of the Boro: Services, Home & Garden nominations are open

| brennison@queenscourier.com


The Queens Courier is excited to announce the next category in the Best of the Boro Competition — Services, Home & Garden.

The competition places the power of choice with the people who patronize these businesses — you vote, they win.

Home is where the heart is, and the Best of the Boro’s third category focuses on businesses that improve and beautify Queens’ abodes.

The successful competition’s first two categories — Restaurants & Bars and Health & Beauty — garnered more than 150,000 total votes from Queens residents, who certainly recognize the best. Keep an eye out around Queens for the Best of the Boro stickers in stores and eateries window — indicating that the borough’s residents chose it as second to none.

Already more than 500 Queens businesses have been nominated in the first two categories. The winners in the Health & Beauty category — which featured more than 100,000 total votes — will be announced in the January 26 issue of The Queens Courier.

To make sure your favorites have a chance to win, be sure to nominate when the competition commences. The nomination process will begin January 13 and last through February 10.

Click here to nominate.

You can choose the best in any or all of the 40 categories.

The comprehensive category offers residents a chance to name the best ranging from best dry cleaner to landscaper from best contractor to florist and everything in between.

To stay up-to-the-minute on the competition like the Best of the Boro page on Facebook and follow @BestOfTheBoro on Twitter.

Helping Hands in Sunnyside – Sunnyside Community Services

| aasperin@queenscourier.com

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.