26 The QUEE NS Courier • september 17, 2015 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso Habitat for Humanity NYC Chief Executive Officer Karen Haycox (center) along with local officials cut the ribbon on Habitat for Humanity’s newest ReStore location in Woodside. Habitat for Humanity’s first NYC ReStore shop opens BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO email@example.com @KellyMMancuso Habitat for Humanity board members, volunteers and local elected officials gathered in Woodside on Sept. 12 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the borough’s first ReStore shop, located at 62-01 Northern Blvd. The newest 3,500-square-foot ReStore shop features new and gently used items for the home, including building materials, fixtures, appliances, furniture and home accents, at 60 to 80 percent off their original retail prices. The proceeds from the sale of their merchandise directly benefit Habitat for Humanity and help build homes for people in need. While there are roughly 15 shops upstate and on Long Island, and more than 850 ReStores nationwide, the Woodside ReStore is the first of its kind in New York City. “We’re really excited about Queens as the location for our first New York City ReStore,” explained Karen Haycox, chief executive officer for Habitat for Humanity New York City. “We’ve been working in Queens for the last several years, really focusing on our home building initiatives, but this takes our relationship with the Queens area to a new level. We want to bring great retail opportunity to the Queens market, as well as build a customer base and awareness of Habitat and the work that we’re doing.” In addition to offering discounted appliances and home goods, the Woodside ReStore will also host special workshops, do-it-yourself classes and family-oriented community meetings in the store’s upper level. “It’s really a great way to deepen our engagement with the Queens citizenry, which is so important to us,” Haycox added. “We also picked Queens because most of our construction projects are happening here in Queens,” said Sarah Fox Tracy, Habitat for Humanity NYC director of marketing and communications. “We have high hopes for expanding, maybe to Brooklyn eventually, but first things first.” The ReStore merchandise is donated by individuals as well as local contractors, home improvement companies, architects and corporate donors like cosmetics retailer Sephora, which donated several tables to the new store. The store accepts drop-off donations and will even make arrangements to pick up larger furniture or appliances from donors’ homes. The new store was filled with everything from paintbrushes and tools to couches, wall art, cabinet sets and washing machines. “The stock changes over so much so you have to keep coming back,” Haycox added. “That’s what’s so amazing about this. It’s a different handful of stuff every time you come in.” The ReStore Sept. 12 grand opening was celebrated with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony which included Habitat for Humanity board members and local elected officials. Deputy Borough President Melva Miller wished the store and organization continued success. Gary Gilbert, community liaison for Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, issued a special citation on behalf of the Assemblyman to Haycox, ReStore manager Frank Hinck and the organization for their efforts within the community. “It’s a really successful model for us, and we also feel it helps spread the message of Habitat around the city,” Tracy added. “People can come in the store, shop and get to learn a little more about our mission, what we’re doing. It’s also really great for treasure hunters in the city.” Woodhaven nonprofit moves to Queens Village BY THE QUEENS COURIER STAF firstname.lastname@example.org @queenscourier A nonprofit group serving developmentally disabled adults has relocated from Woodhaven to Queens Village, it was announced. IRI (formerly Independence Residences Inc.) now shares offices with its affiliate, the Queens Parent Resource Center (QPRC), at 112-40 Francis Lewis Blvd. The move took effect on Sept. 1. IRI and QPRC, both of which support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, deployed its staff and supervisors to existing offices in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. “This is an opportunity for IRI and QPRC to expand our services, enhance collaboration between the agencies and, most importantly, improve the delivery of services to the individuals we support,” said IRI Executive Director Raymond J. DeNatale, adding that the relocation and decentralized organizational structure will result in anticipated savings but no redundancies in staff. “We grow where there is a need,” DeNatale said. “This move will make us more nimble and more able to provide high-quality services to individuals with intellectual disabilities.” IRI has been in Woodhaven since 2003 and has more than 500 employees. The QPRC has occupied the building in Queens Village since 2003 and today has 170 employees. Since affiliating in 2012, the two agencies have integrated operations in such areas as residential, family support, employment, and Medicaid service coordination. In preparing for the relocation, an IRI-QPRC team of employees meet weekly to map out new paperless processes; to identify new IT/communications systems, which include adding video conferencing capabilities at their main sites; to create a document retention system for keeping, shredding or storing documents; and to plan the physical relocation. DeNatale said that the new organizational structure will enable the agencies to further uphold their operating objectives: “Putting people first, working as a team, acting on evidence and having a sense of urgency in what we do.” IRI was founded in 1984 to serve people who have intellectual disabilities and visual or other impairments. IRI provides varied residential opportunities, some of which are staffed 24 hours a day. Day opportunities include supportive employment; work at the Independence Cafe and both day habilitation programs that are site-based and non-site-based. IRI also offers a wide range of family support services; many home based that include respite, crisis and afterschool programs. These programs are provided in the five boroughs of New York City and on Long Island. Since 1992, Queens Parent Resource Center has been an organization focused on individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families, parents in particular. QPRC began by providing a variety of family support services programs including family reimbursement and outreach. The agency quickly expanded to include service coordination services, supporting almost 400 families.
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