Match 24, 2020 – It has been an incredibly challenging month for all of us as we take the necessary steps to protect our communities and families from the COVID-19 outbreak. Effective Monday, March 16, AAFE temporarily closed its offices and community centers to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
Here’s an update on our efforts to continue providing essential services to New York’s most vulnerable residents during this difficult time and to address critical community needs. As our staff shifts to a remote office model, we are working to provide as much support for the community as possible under trying circumstances.
SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES: Our affiliate, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, is launching an Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Fund to assist the many independent neighborhood businesses imperiled by COVID-19. Business owners may fill out an interest form here. Low-interest loans of up to $50,000 are available for working capital. See more details here. Renaissance is continuing to raise money for the fund, seeking support from government, the private sector and individuals (see information about our fundraising campaign below). Meanwhile, additional support is available for our existing small business clients (see more information in English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish).
HOUSING COUNSELING: AAFE staff normally based in Chinatown and Jackson Heights are available to assist community members in a limited capacity via telephone and email with tenant-landlord issues. They can provide guidance, answer questions and draft advocacy letters. Even during the COVID-19 crisis, tenants have continued to face harassment, including hot water and heat service interruptions. The housing team is preparing to conduct virtual tenant rights workshops. Contact: 212-979-8988 (Manhattan) or 718-316-9993 (Jackson Heights).
HOMEOWNERSHIP SERVICES: Staff members at AAFE Community Development Fund are continuing to assist existing clients and field inquiries from new clients, but no documents can be processed until protocols are established for obtaining signatures. Plans are in the works to conduct full-scale counseling sessions online. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAFE RENTAL HOUSING: Maintenance staff in AAFE-managed buildings in Manhattan and Queens continue to be available for critical repairs, while practicing established guidelines for social distancing, building maintenance and deep cleaning. Management has shifted to a partial remote work environment.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: Counselors are able to provide phone counseling and resume preparation services. As more community members are laid off due to COVID-19, we are identifying new potential opportunities for job seekers, especially in the health care sector. Contact: 718-961-2833.
SOCIAL SERVICES/GOVERNMENT BENEFITS: Our counselors are continuing to answer questions and provide information to community members about enrollment in government safety net services, but since no in-office visits are possible at this time and government offices are closed, new applications are on hold. Contact: 212-979-8988 (Manhattan), 718-961-0888 (Flushing), 718-316-9993 (Jackson Heights).
SENIOR CENTERS: AAFE Care centers on the Lower East Side and Flushing have been closed out of concern for a population most at risk due to COVID-19.
AFFORDABLE HEALTH INSURANCE ENROLLMENT: Application assistance is available for renewals, but not for new enrollments. Contact: 212-979-8988 (Manhattan), 718-961-0888 (Flushing), 718-316-9993 (Jackson Heights).
SMOKING CESSATION PROGRAM: Followup appointments are available via phone, but no new enrollments.
IMMIGRATION SERVICES: Informational inquiries only; documents for citizenship and family petitions must be completed in person. Contact: 212-979-8988 (Manhattan), 718-961-0888 (Flushing), 718-316-9993 (Jackson Heights).
YOUTH PROGRAM: While our Flushing Youth Center is closed, AAFE’s Youth & Family Team has been hosting online chats and hangouts. Contact: email@example.com.
Manhattan (Chinatown): 212-979-8988
Jackson Heights: 718-316-9993
Workforce Development Program: 718-961-2833
Youth Program: 347-486-4682 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Renaissance Economic Development Corporation
(Small Business Services)
AAFE Community Development Fund