NICE program participants
Photo: Courtesy of Queens Community House
NICE program participants
Photo: Courtesy of Queens Community House

Queens Community House

The Neighborhood Intergenerational Chore and Errand (NICE) Program at Queens Community House (QCH) provides shopping, laundry and errand services for frail and homebound senior citizens in the areas of Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, and Corona. Additionally, this program provides services for senior citizens through partnering facilities such as senior centers and nursing homes. NICE addresses the needs of senior citizen community members while also supporting the need among community youth for productive and enriching after school opportunities for positive engagement and skill building that will advance career exploration and work readiness.

The communities targeted by the NICE Program are heavily populated by low-income, immigrant families representing diverse backgrounds. Youth employment in these neighborhoods is low and while most include resources for older adults, this is the only program that addresses both seniors’ needs for daily living assistance and fosters community connection along with the development of young adults.

Results

94% of homebound senior participants have remained in their homes through the assistance provided by the program. Additionally, every youth participant graduates or gets promoted to the next grade in school the following year. An additional 79% of youth participants also demonstrate improvement in personal development indicators such as communication.

Profile

Senior Client Profile:
Ms. Dansky was born in Brooklyn, New York in the early 1900s. As a teenager, she attended Thomas Jefferson High School and married when she was 21 years old. She considers the NICE Program to be “a lifesaver for her” and believes the program has assisted her in staying independent and managing the daily tasks of her life.

Youth Client Profile:
Ngawang was born in Tibet and raised in Nepal for the majority of her life. Her family fled to the United States when she was 12 due to discrimination and resulting violence and turmoil in her country. She has expressed that shared experiences with discrimination provide a common ground where she can relate well to the seniors she served in the program. Ngawang graduated from Forest Hills High School this past year with an Advanced Regents diploma and attends CUNY Hunter College with a Pre-Med major. She is considering going into geriatric medicine based on her experience working with older adults in the QCH program.