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Ferreras distributes $629K

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras received almost $629,000 in discretionary funding in the fiscal year 2013 budget. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) said she focused on domestic violence, sanitation, education and parks in doling out her about $629,000 in discretionary funds this year.

“These are leading nonprofits that are trying to make a difference in the community,” Ferreras said about some of her biggest recipients.

Ferreras — whose district covers East Elmhurst and parts of Corona, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst — distributed $628,821 in discretionary funding as well as additional funding given to nonprofits with other city Council members.

The recipient of the largest grant is the New Destiny Housing Corp., a Manhattan-based nonprofit that builds housing for domestic violence victims, connects victims with housing, hosts workshops and does studies on the subject. Ferreras, head of the Council Women’s Issues Committee, gave $40,000 to the nonprofit.

Like her neighboring Council member, Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Ferreras also gave a grant to the Doe Fund for $32,500. The Doe Fund employs homeless and formerly incarcerated people to clean city streets. The councilwoman said this was in addition to money allocated outside her discretionary funding to the city Sanitation Department for additional trash pickups.

“I think we have a huge sanitation problem,” she said.

Ferreras also gave two large grants totaling $32,857 to Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities, a Corona-based nonprofit that offers multiple services, for its after-school programs, summer camp, senior meals and nutrition education. Another $22,000 through two grants went to the Jackson Heights-based immigration-advocacy group Make the Road New York for its after-school programs.

Ferreras said she had worked with Make the Road New York on an initiative to address overcrowding in schools. Ferreras’ district includes Corona’s PS 19, the most overcrowded school in the city.

The councilwoman also gave four grants worth a collective $30,000 to the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty for multiple services such as case management, food assistance, job search programs and home repair.

Some smaller grants went to fund services for parks in Ferreras’ district. She gave grants of $5,000 each to the City Parks Foundation for free live performances and sports instruction, Queens Theatre in the Park for live performances for needy populations, Row New York to pay coaches to teach rowing at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the Jackson Heights Beautification Group in part for services to maintain parks.

Ferreras, who sits on the Council budget negotiating team and Finance Committee, said every budget poses tough choices and that she was happy to co-chair the Queens delegation with Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans).

“Under the leadership we had we wanted to ensure we cut as little as we could and ensure no organization had to shutter their doors,” she said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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