On November 1st, Chhaya Community Development Corporation held a Town Hall in Queens to discuss and gather feedback about a planned South Asian Community Center. Sakhi, along with numerous other South Asian organizations, such as SAYA!, and Adhikaar, and local community members attended this meeting.
Through a participatory process, Chhaya engaged with approximately 100 stakeholders in determining the greatest needs and desires for having this community center, as well as best location. As a result of these focus groups, it was determined that the Northwest area of Queens was the most highly trafficked and densely populated South Asian area, and the best location for the center. It was noted that there is a sizable South Asian population in Richmond Hill and western Queens, but that the region was too inaccessible and isolated to locate the center there. Several of the most requested needs for space and programming of the Center included recreation space, kitchen and eating area, performance space, child care and space for services to be brought to our population.
Sakhi participated in order to gather information as to whether this space could be used for any of our services, and to also pass on this information to the women we serve. We asked that there be more emphasis on ensuring that child care would be made available, and whether any confidential space could be created. It is unlikely that Sakhi will seek that any space be held aside for our direct service work, as confidentiality and safety is of prime importance. However, this space would be an ideal location for our services to be advertised and for outreach and awareness raising.
This is an amazing endeavor undertaken by Chhaya CDC and its partners, and we look forward to supporting it in any way we can, so that the Community Center can be made a reality soon.
Learn more about Chhaya CDC.