lic relief

COVID-19: opening the Queens community in a lockdown

One good thing among mostly grim headlines is the growing sense of community.

We wanted to highlight the great work of our community in Long Island City, as well as nearby Sunnyside and Astoria.

While we’re here to support our community’s medical needs, it’s important to recognize those who support people’s other needs.


LIC Relief

While their mission is to mobilize neighbors to help neighbors, one of the most important things LIC Relief does, is work with local restaurants to ensure anybody in need gets a hot meal.

Just this past week, they’ve provided 2,965 meals to LIC residents, mostly to senior centers, food pantries, and community centers in NYCHA housing.

Pastor Patrick Thompson and Kelly Craig, Co-Vice President PS/IS 78 PTA, founded the group as a direct response to the COVID-19 crisis. They recognized the impact it would have on families in the community, and knew they needed to act.

As well as delivering hot meals, they organize food drives. These drives are to collect non-perishable food items, specifically for food pantries.

In order to support the food drives and meals for those in need, they mobilize people. To do this, they’re building a database of volunteers to work on an as-needed basis.

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Astoria Mutual Aid Network

Astoria Mutual Aid Network was founded by Ross Mudrick and Maryam Shariat Mudrick.

With the impact of COVID-19 on movement, especially for the vulnerable, a lot of Astoria Mutual Aid’s main focus is getting food to those who can’t get out themselves.

But, they also look after everything from helping people get to medical appointments, to picking up prescriptions, and generally talking to people who may not see anyone else.

They now have 432 volunteers signed up, ready to help. Additionally, they’re expanding their efforts to…

Support local businesses
Advocate for supportive practices within the community
Share accurate local information

astoria mutual network community


Sunnyside/Woodside Mutual Aid

Similarly to other mutual aid groups, Sunnyside/Woodside Mutual Aid is both recruiting volunteers to help those in the community who need it, and welcoming requests for assistance.

The group matches needs with community volunteers who can help pick up groceries and medication, identify city resources, or just have regular phone calls with people who might feel isolated.


Sunnyside Shines

Meanwhile, Sunnyside Shines has been around since 2008. It’s a business improvement district, so it focuses on the businesses that bring life to the neighborhood.

Right now, that means making sure people know which of their local businesses are open. They also note if those businesses have had to modify their service. At this time, this largely means bars and restaurants that are open for delivery and take out.

When they know who’s open they post regularly on social media to keep the community updated.

But, Sunnyside Shines’ main work is not quite so public-facing. They also…

Help small businesses understand and comply with quickly-changing mandates
Help them with emergency grants and loan application – especially important where English isn’t the owner’s first language

sunnyside shines logo


Long Island City Partnership

Similarly to Sunnyside Shines, LIC Partnership focuses on Long Island City’s businesses.

They encourage people to shop local by maintaining a list of neighborhood businesses that are open on their website, complete with an interactive map.

Also, as a resource to the businesses themselves, they track and publish relevant licensing and regulatory updates, helping explain to business owners what they mean in practical terms.

They keep small businesses up to date, and helping them navigate lines of credit and loans, as well as emergency relief funds.

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Information accurate as of Friday, March 27th 2020.

Thanks to Julia Forman, who volunteers with LIC Relief, Astoria Mutual Aid Networks, and Sunnyside Shines, for providing information.


Serving the NYC community since 1866

Since 1866, The Floating Hospital is the largest provider of healthcare to homeless families. We provide free and secure transport to and from over 300 shelters and domestic violence safe houses throughout New York City.

The Floating Hospital operates a main clinic in Long Island City. Additionally, we have satellite clinics at shelters, public housing, and assessment centers throughout the city.

DONATE NOW TO SUPPORT OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS