Covid-19 Response

Neighborhood Health Center and School Health Program, WIC Program, Bilingual Head Start Program, and Senior Nutrition Program.

Located on
2265 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10035

How is your organization responding to the Covid-19 crisis?

The East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. responded to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis by altering all operations in accordance with guidance provided by our funders and with the objective of remaining engaged to serve our community while protecting our staff, clients and patients.

What impact has your organization had on the East Harlem community, as a result your response?

As directed by the City of New York, our Bilingual Head Start Program (serving 230 children at two sites in East Harlem) immediately moved to a remote educational and supportive services model, with all staff working from their homes. Similarly, the Senior Nutrition Program (located at Casabe Houses and Schomburg Senior Center) was required to close, providing supportive services remotely to Program participants. The NYS Department of Health moved swiftly to a model of providing services by telephone, and clients were discouraged from coming to Program Offices. As schools closed, the School Health staff relocated to provide services from the Health Center.

How has the Covid-19 crisis impacted your organization’s ability to continue its mission?

Boriken Health Center staff have quickly become adept at providing medical, behavioral health, nutritional, and even dental services via the internet through telehealth protocols. American Dental Association guidance initially required the Dental Department to close for all but emergency dental needs, and eventually evolved to allow for nonurgent services under very controlled conditions to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus. Screening protocols were adopted to ensure that patients and staff with COVID-19 were not able to enter the Health Center and included scanning temperatures and administering a short health-related questionnaire. As in-person visits slowly increase, the successful use of telehealth has provided an additional modality for care.

Have you partnered with any other East Harlem based organization’s?

On June 12, Boriken partnered with the Harlem Vets Center (located on E 124th Street at Third Avenue) and Cut Red Tape for Heroes (which donated the supplies) to distribute packets of 14 surgical-grade masks and hand sanitizer to 1500 community residents through distribution on the E123rd Street side of the building. The event was also a terrific opportunity to distribute PPE to community residents who are in great need of masks and hand sanitizer.

Founded in 1965 through the vision of community residents

Do you plan on continuing to operate remotely or with a hybrid model?

On July 8, in collaboration with NYC H+H and other City agencies, the Council opened a COVID-19 testing site which offers testing to all community members, regardless of ability to pay. Between 25 and 65 East Harlem residents are tested each day within tents which are located immediately outside of the Health Center. MetroPlus Health Plan has also been participating in this effort to enroll persons who are eligible in their plan. The US census has collaborated to assist community resident with getting counted.

About Boriken

Founded in 1965 through the vision of community residents, the East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. continues as one of our community’s largest nonprofits, operating the Boriken Neighborhood Health Center and School Health Program, WIC Program, Bilingual Head Start Program, and Senior Nutrition Program (at Casabe Houses and Schomburg Senior Center).

Community You Serve?

All of the East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc.’s services are available in Spanish and without regard for immigration status and at an affordable fee or no out-of-pocket expense. The majority of the more than 13,000 person whom we serve each year are East Harlem residents.

Org's Impact on the East Harlem Community:

The East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc.’s Boriken Neighborhood Health Center serves as the Patient-Centered Medical Home (recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance) for 12,000 patients, providing fully bilingual pediatric, adult medicine, gynecology, podiatry, optometry, dentistry (including oral surgery), psychiatry, social work therapy, care management, nutrition, onsite laboratory and onsite pharmacy with affordable prescriptions available through the federal drug pricing program. Boriken’s School Health Program serves PS/MS7, PS/MS 155, Renaissance School of Arts/MS377 and PS112 with onsite medical and behavioral health services, serving more than 1000 students each year. The WIC Program serves more than 1200 women, infants and children each year with supplemental nutrition services. The Bilingual Head Start Program provides educational and supportive services to 230 families, and the Senior Nutrition Program serves approximately 200 seniors each weekday.

How One Can Get Involved If Volunteer and or Donate Opportunities Apply?

Donations of funds or specific items are welcome (e.g. bottled water for outdoor COVID-19 testing, school supplies for students, Personal Protective Equipment). Due to the nature of most of our services, we are not seeking volunteers.

How can one leverage the services your org offers to the East Harlem Community?

Information on accessing each of the East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. services is available through our website:, or by calling 212-289-6650 (Boriken Health Center, School Health Program and WIC Program), 212-427-9010 (Bilingual Head Start) or 212-722-2205 (Senior Nutrition Program)

Upcoming Events

The Council is working with the Office of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams to plan a PPE distribution event for the near future, to distribute PPE to community residents. To maximize the reach and effects the event, we will include our local partners including Councilmember Ayala, the Harlem Vets Center and other members of the East Harlem Alliance, East Harlem COAD, Human Services Consortium of East Harlem, East Harlem Community Health Committee, Taino Towers and other local tenants associations, the NYCDOHMH East Harlem Health Action Center and its various programs, and other entities. Based on the success of our previous PPE distribution event, we anticipate that we may reach as many as 2,000 community members.

Read About Org's In East Harlem Response