QUEENS, NY – Assemblymember Aravella Simotas joined Make the Road New York’s (MRNY) staff in Jackson Heights to present $125,000 in capital funding for construction and outfitting of a new community center.

MRNY is an organization founded in 1997 that works toward securing justice for immigrant and working-class New Yorkers. It provides free services primarily for low-income immigrants and their families. 

Designed by hundreds of MRNY member participants, the community center will increase the space that MRNY can use for programming by 88%. The center will not only address the needs of low-income and immigrant populations, but will also decrease annual maintenance and operating costs, allowing funds that were previously allocated towards covering such expenses to be used for other community needs as they arise. 

“All immigrants should have access to suitable spaces where they can develop their skills for professional success, obtain the resources they need, and nurture their intellectual abilities. MRNY’s community center will be a place where they can achieve those necessities,” Assembly Member Simotas said.  

 “This landmark community center will enable a dramatic expansion of our programs and services to better meet the needs of our communities. We are extremely grateful to Assembly Member Simotas for this support to help make this dream a reality. In a time when many from our community are living in fear, this building is a sign of hope and a place where we all belong,” Deborah Axt, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York said. 

Simotas is a strong believer in the importance of providing communities, especially those that are underserved, with adequate resources which can be used to further their success. The community center will be used for services such as English language and computer literacy classes, citizenship exam preparation, and for healthcare and legal service resources. Simotas hopes that with this center, more low-income immigrant families will be able to gain access to services that they have difficulty finding elsewhere.