Three Kings Day and Housing Helps
On January 5, St. John’s Outreach joined our long-standing partner Pilar Moya-Mancera and her team at Housing Help to celebrate Three Kings Day in Huntington Station. The event was in partnership with many community organizations, churches, and the Suffolk County Police, 2nd Precinct.
Community leaders were dressed as the Kings and Mr and Mrs Claus. While music played, toys, nonperishable food, snacks all donated by sponsors, and pertinent housing information were distributed at this 3rd annual community-building event. St. John’s funded the nonperishable food and put together goodie bags for the children.
Founded in 1966, Housing Help Inc. is a nonprofit, HUD certified organization. Since becoming Executive Director in 2017, Pilar has initiated several affordable housing and advocacy programs. She and her team provide one-on-one counseling, host seminars, workshops and more. Additionally, Pilar has expanded financial literacy education courses using her own curriculum. Clients include first-time home buyers, seniors, low-income families and people suffering with student loan debt.
Although based in Greenlawn, Housing Help partners with other organizations and now helps residents not only in the Town of Huntington but Bay Shore, Central Islip, Wyandanch, as well as Riverhead, and eastern Long Island. “I call my agency tiny but mighty,” says Pilar.
Pilar has guided the organization’s expansion in outreach and advocacy. During the Covid 19 pandemic, Pilar launched programs in collaboration with local churches, the 2nd Precinct of Suffolk County Police and other local agencies to serve those in most need in the Town of Huntington. This effort helped prevent residents from losing their homes, coordinated the delivery and distribution of food and supplies, provided access to COVID testing, and more. St John's was a partner in these efforts as well.
Most recently on January 11, after 44 years, work has finally begun on Matinecock Court, a 146-unit affordable housing development in East Northport. Housing Help has been instrumental in getting this development built. Pilar and her team have of late been working on the multitude of permits necessary but are thrilled site work has begun.
“I feel that all the wrongs of the past, we are making them right. I see this as a ray of hope that, moving forward, Huntington is not only talking the talk but also walking the walk,” said Pilar.
A PBS News Hour story about the lack of affordable housing on Long Island featuring Pilar can be found here:
Pilar and her team at Housing Help seem to be everywhere. Recent initiatives include partnering with LI Housing Services to open an outpost at The William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center at Touro University in Central Islip.
In addition to leading Housing Help, Pilar created Latinos Unidos en Long Island, and serves as chair, board, or steering committee member on numerous organizations advocating for safe, affordable housing and the rights of all residents across Long Island.
“I’ve always been a public servant, always,” Pilar says. “That’s my passion, my love.”
Pilar is an inspiration and guide to the Outreach Committee. She helps us see our community and love our neighbors.
Pilar will be our guest in our Lenten Series on March 22.