WHO WE ARE
More than twenty-five years ago, New Life CDC was birthed among the poor of Elmhurst and Corona in Queens, NYC. Our community is made up largely of working class immigrant families faced with layers of existing disparities that were heightened due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis. The founders, Pete and Geri Scazzero, led a team of committed volunteers from the New Life Fellowship congregation who reflected God’s loving heart for those on the margins. Though their peers moved toward suburbia, they moved toward the urban poor. Relationships were built among the homeless, broken, and hurting.
Today, New Life CDC continues to provide relief, cultivate restoration, and models reinvestment in the neighborhood. We desire to meet the needs and cultivate the strengths of the poor and marginalized. It is done through community-building and it is done as a demonstration of God’s compassion for the vulnerable.
Annually, we serve 2,000 children, youth, adults, and senior neighbors through culturally and linguistically accessible programs and services. We provide holistic support to our community through direct service, referrals, and resources to those that are food and housing insecure, undocumented, un- and underinsured, unhoused, linguistically isolated, and marginalized.
ELMHURST & CORONA
Loving people AND place
We love our neighborhood — both the people AND the place. Elmhurst and Corona represent the most ethnically and linguistically diverse communities in the United States. Our neighbors come from across the globe, speaking a multitude of languages and dialects though many are predominantly from Central and South America as well as from East and South Asia and the Philippines. Imagine the richness in the visual arts, food, customs, dance, festivals, etc. We also love the easy access to public transportation and the convenience in shopping and dining.
The huge diversity in culture and experiences presents uniquely layered challenges for our families. For many families, English is not the primary language spoken at home; 56% speak Spanish and 25% speak an Asian or Pacific Island language. A third of households in the district are considered “linguistically isolated,” meaning no one in the household aged 14 or older speaks English “very well.” Many adults lack health insurance coverage and of the uninsured population in Elmhurst/Corona, 88% are foreign-born and 74% are Hispanic/Latinx. Despite exceptionally high rates of employment in the district, workers tend to concentrate in construction and hospitality-related sectors. Nearly two in three children live in households in or near poverty and wage earners typically work disproportionately in lower-wage professions. Since the pandemic, many are still unemployed or are working reduced hours. Demand for critically important early education, afterschool, and behavioral health programs outstrip supply. Unaffordable housing means families have fewer choices and the least costly housing is often poorly maintained. These barriers, along with many others, isolate families and exacerbate a loss of community.
families in the district living in or near poverty
of the population is foreign-born
linguistically isolated households in which no one over the age of 14 speaks English very well
pass rates for the Reading and Math
exams at one local elementary school
Kimiagar, Bijan, et al. “Elmhurst/Corona, Queens: Community Driven Solutions to Improve Child and Family Well-Being.” Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Dec. 2019.
“A Neighborhood Divided: Gentrification, Poverty, and Homelessness in Elmhurst/Corona.” The Institute for Children, Poverty, and HomelessnessNYC, 1 Feb. 2016.
Hinterland, K, et al. “Community Health Profiles 2018, Queens Community District 4: Elmhurst and Corona.” The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2018.
“COVID-19 in Elmhurst/Corona, Queens: Why the Community’s Needs and Strengths Are More Important than Ever.” Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, 22 Apr. 2020, https://cccnewyork.org/covid-19-in-elmhurst-corona-queens-why-the-communitys-needs-and-strengths-are-more-important-than-ever/.