• $7 million in healthcare, parks and community center funding announced
  • Hundreds reached at employment, immigrant and youth fairs
  • Empowered local civic, faith and business leaders with roundtable talks
  • Fostered open community dialogue with a Central Queens town hall


(March 4, 2024 at 11:15am)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.’s “Borough Hall on Your Block: Central Queens” initiative is officially in the books, following a thrilling week of connections made with families across Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Rego Park and Ozone Park.

Over the course of the six-day initiative, Borough President Richards hosted a town hall, three press conferences announcing a combined $7 million in capital funding across the region, a job fair, an immigrant resource fair, a youth opportunities fair, a pair of senior center visits, multiple roundtables with local leaders from different communities, various site visits and other community-centered events.

“My office’s time in Central Queens could not have been more fruitful. This iteration of Borough Hall on Your Block was the most successful, energetic and well-attended one yet, and I’m thankful the families of Community Districts 6 and 9 helped make it so,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “I’m deeply grateful to our neighbors and our community allies for their partnership this week in building relationships and making our borough a better place to live, work and play. Borough Hall will go back on the road later this year, and I look forward to doing it all again soon.”

Borough Hall on Your Block: Central Queens began last Monday, February 26, at the corner of Queens Boulevard and Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills, where Borough President Richards gathered representatives from the NYC Department of Transportation, Community Board 6 and other community leaders to discuss ways to improve safety for all at the busy intersection.

That afternoon, the Borough President met with a group of older adults at Commonpoint Queens’ Central Queens Center, where he announced $325,000 in Fiscal Year 2024 funding for senior programming across the borough. That allocation is split between nearly 40 different Queens senior centers and community service organizations (CBOs) to support various programmatic needs in areas such as immigration and cultural services, food insecurity prevention, case management and more.

In the evening, Borough President Richards hosted a pair of civic roundtables — one in Richmond Hill with members of Central Queens’ South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities and one in Forest Hills with locally-based members of his Civic Engagement Committee — to hear directly from area leaders about the issues they’re seeing on their blocks.

Tuesday, February 27 brought with it a morning press conference the Borough President held to announce $1 million in funding to renovate the kitchen at Queens Community House’s Forest Hills Community Center, where upwards of hundreds of meals per day are cooked and served. The funding will not only allow kitchen staff to produce more food in a more efficient manner, but will allow for the potential creation of new culinary programming for center members of all ages.

Also on Tuesday, leaders within Central Queens’ Bukharian community joined Borough President Richards in Forest Hills for a roundtable, touching on issues such as housing, public safety and expanding mental health services.

It was Woodhaven’s turn on Wednesday, February 28, as Borough President Richards stopped by Catholic Charities’ Woodhaven Older Adult Center to catch up with its members and reaffirm his commitment to ensuring all Queens residents can age with grace and dignity in their own community.

From there, the Queens Borough President’s Office hosted a job fair at Plaza College in Forest Hills — featuring more than a dozen employers across a wide array of industries — in an effort to connect Queens residents looking to get hired or change careers with the opportunities they deserve.

Leaping ahead into Thursday, February 29, the fourth day of Borough Hall on Your Block: Central Queens began with a packed press conference within Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s soon-to-open standalone cancer unit, where Borough President Richards announced $3 million in funding to help pay for the purchase and installation of the Richmond Hill facility’s first linear accelerator. Once operational, this state-of-the-art piece of equipment will be used to deliver pinpoint external beam radiation treatments to combat a patient’s cancerous cells, while preserving their surrounding healthy tissue and ultimately saving more lives.

In the afternoon, the BP gathered local business leaders, representatives from Community Boards 6 and 9 and the NYC Departments of Environmental Protection, Sanitation, Small Business Services and Transportation for a roundtable in Forest Hills on how to strengthen Central Queens’ economy and better support its small businesses.

Wrapping up Leap Day was a Central Queens Town Hall at Queens Borough Hall, where more than 100 residents were able to ask questions of the Borough President, local law enforcement and officials from numerous city agencies — touching on topics such as street safety, education, local infrastructure upgrades and more.

With the flip of the calendar came the final fiscal announcement of the week, as Borough President Richards began Friday, March 1 with a press conference alongside dozens of area residents to announce $3 million in funding for the renovation of the basketball and handball courts at Richmond Hill’s Phil Rizzuto Park.

That same morning, the Borough President dropped by Richmond Hill High School — the host of his office’s Youth Opportunities Fair and Mixer, which helped connect local students with summer youth employment opportunities as well as internships and volunteer positions in their community. From there, he and his office’s Constituent Services department held mobile office hours at Chhaya CDC’s Richmond Hill location, meeting with residents who need assistance with various issues. A visit to the Jamaica-Van Wyck subway station to discuss public safety and maintenance issues with local law enforcement and multiple city agencies closed the day.

Borough Hall on Your Block: Central Queens came to a close on Saturday, March 2, as Borough President Richards hosted an Immigrant Resource Fair at River Fund in Richmond Hill. Attendees were able to connect on-site with providers offering services such as legal consultations, IDNYC appointments, health insurance, job training resources and more.

Borough President Richards first announced the Borough Hall on Your Block initiative during his June 2022 State of the Borough address. Since then, he has successfully brought his Borough Hall on Your Block series to Southeast Queens in August 2022, Western Queens in February 2023 and now Central Queens in February-March 2024.

The Borough Hall on Your Block initiative will continue later this year. The dates and location will be announced in the coming months.

Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QnsBPRichards on Twitter and @QueensBPRichards on Facebook and Instagram