108-25 62nd Drive
Forest Hills NY 11375
Upcoming QCH Events
- Learning to Work Awards Ceremony
June 20, 2013
(5:00 PM - 9:00 PM)
Please join us as we honor our students at Villa Marcello...
Please RSVP with Ms. Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 347-538-7012.
QCH Mission Statement
Queens Community House provides individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities.
History of Queens Community House
In 1967, New York City Mayor John Lindsay announced a program of “Scatter Site Housing.” The program’s aim was to locate low-income housing projects in middle class neighborhoods. The concept was similar to that of the 19th century settlement house movement which held that some of the problems of poor ghettos could be alleviated by greater integration of the classes.
After an unsuccessful attempt to locate the project in Corona, a site was selected in Forest Hills on the spot of a former golf range. A group of neighborhood residents mobilized against the proposal using stereotypes to play on fears of their neighbors. People picketed, engaged the support of some elected officials, and brought a lawsuit against the city. One angry resident even firebombed the site. Neighborhood supporters of the project, other elected officials and the city administration held their ground, however, and the courts eventually approved development of the site.
Mayor Lindsay appointed a then little-known Queens attorney named Mario Cuomo to mediate the community tensions that remained, with the goal of moving the project forward peacefully. A compromise agreement was developed which reduced the size of the buildings, gave existing community residents priority to the units, set aside a percentage of apartments for senior citizens, and made the development the first low-income public housing cooperative in the nation. As a result of a proposal submitted by a committee of 50 civic organizations, led by the American Jewish Committee, plans for a community center were developed as part of the compromise.
In the spring of 1975, Forest Hills Community House (FHCH) opened its doors with three staff members. From the beginning, our mission included bringing together the economically, ethnically and racially diverse residents of our community. The center was to be a place where all residents could come together to enhance the capacity of the neighbors to help each other. The first programs were a children’s program and the summer day camp. Self Help, Inc., moved a senior center into the building (the center became a FHCH program in 1993). By 1977, the backbones of our current program components were in place.
Over the years, Forest Hills Community House began running programs in neighborhoods beyond its Forest Hills/Rego Park roots. On March 21, 2007 Forest Hills Community House changed its name to Queens Community House, reflecting its growth and successful partnerships and collaborations. Today, Queens Community House has over 400 full and part-time staff, offering youth, community and senior programs in 20 sites, and serves over 20,000 people a year.