Immigrant Services

Riis Settlement’s Immigrant Services program meets the needs of a growing immigrant population in Queensbridge Public Houses and the surrounding Long Island City and Astoria communities. Through ESOL classes, support services and community building activities, we help immigrants successfully integrate into their communities.

We seek to address low literacy levels among immigrant adults in western Queens, one of the most diverse geographic areas in the country. Low literacy levels make it difficult for immigrant adults to find and maintain employment, get involved in their children’s education and actively participate in civic life. Furthermore, immigrant adults are often unaware of how to navigate systems and institutions in New York City to ensure their rights and those of their families are protected. Over time, our focus has expanded and now includes civic engagement and advocacy activities, citizenship classes and on-site legal assistance through a part-time staff attorney.

Riis Settlement has consistently ranked in the top 50% of adult education programs across New York State, and we were recently named a “model literacy program” by NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development.

Our goal is to help roughly 450 community members each year improve their proficiency in English and prepare them for employment, higher education and community involvement.