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.
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
To contact POMOC, please call 718-326-9098
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Translated from Polish by Malwina Siedlinska.