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Central Queens, Samuel Field Ys unite to survive

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Little Neck’s Samuel Field Y has merged with Forest Hills’ Central Queens YM & YWHA so that each site can provide services currently unavailable at their own facilities and secure additional funding, Samuel Field’s chief operating officer said.

The two institutions are both members of the UJA Federation, an organization that specializes in feeding, housing and providing services to Jewish people in the five boroughs, Israel and other sites around the world.

The Samuel Field Y, at 58-20 Little Neck Pkwy., and the Central Queens YM & YWHA, at 67-09 108th St. in Forest Hills, entered into a management agreement last month. The Little Neck facility is managing the day-to-day operations of both sites.

“This situation has evolved as the result of a very difficult fiscal environment,” said Steve Goodman, chief executive officer of Samuel Field. “It’s a very difficult environment to get donors and government funding. But sometimes bringing the strength of two organizations together in one infrastructure makes it easier to survive in this environment and ensures that communities get the services they need.”

Goodman said the two facilities will eventually share services. For example, Samuel Field is known for its programs for geriatric mental health, domestic violence victims and people with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities as well as its sleep-away camp for area youths.

Central Queens, on the other hand, incorporates a number of cultural and educational activities as well as a parenting center and aquatics program. The two facilities plan to expand their services so each one can share these programs, Goodman said.

“We hope to develop those programs to make them more pervasive,” he said. “Both institutions are unique and their combination will make them stronger than they are individual­ly.”

In addition, Samuel Field intends to eventually upgrade its own facilities, including maintenance to its pool, gym and health club, structural renovation on its building and the addition of new space for programs, he said.

Future renovations for Central Queens include having a social worker on-site who will specialize in mental health, adding services for children with disabilities and upgrading the building.

“We’re happy to have them here,” Central Queens Marketing Director Joanne Someck said of Samuel Field. “We’ll be a stronger facility for our neighborho­od.”

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 6:32 pm, October 10, 2011
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