POMOC ready to assist
From Nowy Dziennik
By Ewa Kera-Jedrychowska

Polonians Organized to Minister to our Community, a non-profit organization in Queens is often the first stop for Polish immigrants moving into neighborhoods such as Ridgewood or Maspeth. Besides helping newly arrived immigrants, the organization gives information on available city services and prepares holiday food baskets for those in need.

POMOC, [which also means help in Polish], began as a church organization which helped senior citizens facing the language barrier express their needs. Currently the organization offers free help to new immigrants as well. Its headquarters are located in Maspeth Queens, the second most Polish neighborhood in the city after Greenpoint.

“I have been working with immigrants for ten years now and although the immigration wave is not as big as in the early 90’s –when there were no limits on visa lotteries and entire families arrived and knew nothing about their rights- there are still immigrants who arrive and face the language barrier,” said Ewa Kornacka, the director of POMOC.

The Organization concentrates mainly on social work- making appointments in different city agencies such as the Human Resources Administration, filling out paperwork for social security benefits and public assistance and informing parents about public schools and health care benefits. There is also an employment agency and free English courses.

Eighty percent of the clients of POMOC are Poles but the organization also serves those Russians, Ukrainians and Latin Americans who can communicate enough in English to seek its help.

POMOC is funded by the city, New York State and donations from Polish businesses and private contributors.

How do people find out about POMOC? “We place ads in local gazettes and church bulletins. Usually, when a person has used our services, they will come back again and tell their friends,” said Ewa Kornacka.

To contact POMOC, please call 718-326-9098

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Translated from Polish by Malwina Siedlinska.

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