QUEENS (PIX11) — The combination of unemployment and addiction during the COVID pandemic is hitting New York City’s homeless particularly hard. One group in Queens is helping the formerly homeless and people with substance abuse disorders find affordable housing.

Elmcor’s mission is to help support people who may need a second chance in life, creating affordable housing and programs to help support them mentally and physically.

Jacklyne Marrero from the Bronx knows first hand how hard it is to get housing after substance abuse recovery.  For five years, Marrero was searching for help. Her mom, who is also clean and sober for 20 years now, suggested Elmcor. The nonprofit, which is based in Corona, helped her find recovery and a new life. 

Over the last 57 years, Elmcor has created more than a dozen programs designed for people like Marrero and her mom, Executive Director Saeeda Dunston said.  They’ve worked on providing food and mental health services.  This year, they are adding affordable housing and opening a $12 million, 30-unit affordable housing building.   

It’s supportive, permanent housing.  There’s access to on-site mental health and support services. It is critical right now, especially in a neighborhood like Corona, Dunston said.

They also just got a  $660,000 grant from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to create more green space and enhance apartments.  

Marrero hopes her story will inspire someone to hang in there and get help.  

The new building opens in November, and the project is already halfway complete.  Applications will be accepted later this year. 

For more information head to www.elmcor.org or call 718-651-0096