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Martha Flores-Vasquez has served multiple terms as Democratic District Leader in Flushing and has lived for many years in the neighborhood’s quiet Murray Hill section.
But because of budget constraints, her dedicated work with Community Prevention Alternatives for Families in Crisis, the nonprofit domestic violence awareness and counseling group of which she is executive director, has never had a real home in Flushing aside from a room in a church.
That changed last week, when Flores-Vasquez was unexpectedly informed that the owner of the commercial office building at 136-31 41st Ave. wanted to offer her a second-floor office, Suite 2-D, in the heart of downtown Flushing, free of charge. She accepted the offer and is in the process of moving into the new digs.
“Some people in the Chinese community told the owner, John Chen, that I was very helpful to the community. He wants to give back to the community,” she said. “Now we have a place to call home.”
Mr. Chen could not be reached for comment.
Flores-Vasquez is in the process of setting up the new office and a Community Prevention Alternatives banner already hangs in a first-floor window.
Community Prevention Alternatives already has offices on Bell Boulevard in Bayside and a confidential safe haven site in an undisclosed section of Brooklyn, but the money just was not there for a spot in Flores-Vasquez’s stomping grounds, a central location close to areas such as Corona, East Elmhurst and greater Flushing, where a lot of the group’s work is done,.
The first course to be offered in the new space will be a series of free self-defense classes for women hosted by black belt Jose Ruiz from noon to 2 p.m. on June 12, 19 and 26.
Flores-Vasquez is now looking for people to help in the new office, which is large enough to host seminars for up to 25 people.
“I need to hire volunteers for that office to schedule appointments to see me for counseling, tenant rights, crisis interventions and everything else under the umbrella of social services,” she said.
The work Flores-Vasquez does through her organization, helping people in crisis and offering free by-appointment counseling sessions and other services, is her life’s passion, she said, but she supports herself through selling real estate and other work.
She said she will not do any district leader or personal business work at the office since the space is only provided for the express purpose of work pertaining to her nonprofit organization, which provides antiviolence initiatives, counseling and parenting and career seminars.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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