On Monday, October 15, 2012, Chhaya CDC celebrated their 12th Anniversary at the Michelin-starred Junoon restaurant in Manhattan. As part of this exciting event, Chhaya honored three Architects of Change including CHPC’s Executive Director, Jerilyn Perine.

Other honorees are Vijay Prashad, Author of Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today and columnist for Frontline and Counterpunch, and Afreen Alam, Director of Housing and Community Development, National Urban League. Entertainment was provided by Prakash Puru/Matthew Holtzclaw at the Artifice Group.

Based in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, Chhaya Community Development Corporation (Chhaya) – meaning “shelter in shade” – was founded in 2000 to create stable and sustainable communities by increasing civic participation and addressing housing and community development needs of New Yorkers of South Asian descent and their neighbors.

As the only HUD-approved South Asian-serving housing organization in the country, Chhaya’s approach includes community organizing, outreach, counseling, and education – leading the effort to bring housing and home ownership resources to New York City’s South Asian community. Chhaya is currently rolling out several new initiatives including an energy efficient program, a workforce development initiative; and a women’s financial empowerment program.

Over the past eleven years, Chhaya has assisted more than 5,000 individuals directly and hundreds of thousands more through partnerships with community media. Starting off as just a small group of volunteers, today Chhaya is an organization of 13 staff members who speak five languages including: Bangla, Hindi, Nepali, Tibetan, and Urdu; and hundreds of volunteers.