Selfhelp Community Services Inc

A Trusted Advisor in Aging Services

aka Selfhelp   |   New York, NY   |


Selfhelp is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the independence and dignity of seniors and at-risk populations through a spectrum of housing, home health care, and social services and will lead in applying new methods and technologies to address changing needs of its community. Selfhelp will continue to serve as the "last surviving relative" to its historic constituency, victims of Nazi persecution.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Stuart C. Kaplan

Main address

520 Eighth Avenue 5th Floor

New York, NY 10018 USA

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NTEE code info

Home Health Care (includes Visiting Nurse Associations) (E92)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Holocaust Survivor Program

Selfhelp operates the oldest and largest program serving Holocaust survivors in North America, providing comprehensive services to over 5,000 elderly and frail individuals each year. These services include, but are not limited to home care, case management, emergency financial assistance, social programs, and guardianship for those unable to care for themselves.

Population(s) Served

Selfhelp Community Services operates a licensed not-for-profit home care program that employs over 1,600 home health aides who provide more than 2 million hours of care each year. From skilled nursing to assistance with bathing, grooming, housekeeping, preparing meals and performing other daily chores, our home care program makes it possible for tens of thousands of New York seniors to continue to live independently in the communities they call home. Our home care clients are also able to access community-based social services provided by Selfhelp.

Population(s) Served

Selfhelp owns and operates 18 affordable senior apartment buildings in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Our buildings offer seniors, including the formerly homeless, the opportunity to lead independent lives in affordable apartments, with access to on-site services if and when needed, including health and wellness, social work, skilled nursing, and home care.

More than 1,600 low and moderate-income older adults enjoy life in our residences. They live securely and independently, participate in enriching community activities, and have access to Selfhelp’s extensive services. To accommodate the growing number of older New Yorkers who need affordable housing and would benefit from independent living, we are committed to continue to develop new affordable housing.

Population(s) Served

Selfhelp's five senior centers, including one of New York City's Innovative Senior Centers, offer a wide variety of life-enhancing programs such as computer classes, concerts and lectures, health and wellness workshops, as well as nutritious meals for seniors living in the surrounding communities.

Our senior centers serve close to 10,000 older adults in a variety of educational and social activities. We take particular pride in creating programs and services that reflect the culture of each local community.

Population(s) Served

A unique, transformational program, Selfhelp's acclaimed Virtual Senior Center (VSC) engages homebound seniors into the larger community. A cornerstone of the program is its interactive, real-time classes where participants can hear, see and talk with each other. This groundbreaking program effectively reduces social isolation by creating social networks for otherwise shut-in seniors, connecting them to each other and to the outside world.

Launched in 2010, the VSC has become a lifeline for over 1,600 participants across NY state. Participants enjoy intriguing live classes, chatting with friends, yoga, learning wellness tips, discussing politics, and more - all from the comfort of their own homes. To serve a broader community, the VSC is available in multiple languages including Spanish, Chinese, English, Korean and Russian.

The program has been shown to break down barriers of digital literacy, reduce social isolation by up to 85% and improve participants' quality of life by 97%.

Population(s) Served

Selfhelp's two comprehensive case management programs help seniors through a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy. Expert social workers provide assistance in accessing entitlements and benefits, as well as financial assistance, home delivered meals and home care services. The goal is to enable vulnerable seniors to continue to live independently in their own homes.

Population(s) Served

Selfhelp Alzheimer's Resource Program (SHARP) offers a warm, nurturing and stimulating “social adult day care” environment for individuals in the early to mid-stages of Alzheimer's disease. Participants enjoy engaging activities such as music therapy and cognitive exercises that enrich them emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. The program also offers support groups for caregivers.

Our SHARP program is located at our Clearview Senior Center at 208-11 26th Avenue in Bayside, Queens.

Population(s) Served

Selfhelp's Community Guardian Program serves as court-appointed legal guardian for clients referred by Adult Protective Services (APS), who are over 18 years of age and unable to manage their financial or domestic affairs.

Our program grew out of a 1986 New York State Law that enabled not-for-profit organizations to serve as guardians when the Department of Social Services is the petitioner and the individual for whom guardianship is sought is an Adult Protective Services client. Selfhelp is one of three agencies in New York City that serves in this capacity.

Our goals are to keep clients comfortable, safe within the community, and maximally independent. Though each court order may differ in its instructions, guardians usually have the right to collect a client's income and pay their bills. Client safety, independence, quality of life, and available funds are important considerations in the development of a suitable plan.

Population(s) Served

New York Connects Program of Queens is the first stop for older adults, people of all ages with disabilities, and their families to access long-term care resources. The goal of the program is to provide consistent, comprehensive, locally-based information and assistance on long-term services and supports for individuals, caregivers, and families. Specialists work with callers to assess, plan, coordinate, and evaluate the services required to meet their medical, emotional, financial, physical, and social needs. We provide counseling to help individuals make informed choices about the services and supports that are most appropriate for their unique situations. There is no cost to access the program.

Examples include:

Health insurance information
Screening for entitlements and benefits
Home-delivered meals
Home care
Care coordination
Caregiver support
The program focuses on client self-determination, independent living, and aging in place. We provide linkages to needed services, as well as education and advocacy around entitlements and benefits. The services can be accessed via telephone, in-person, or online. Additionally, our staff can provide information in different languages if necessary including English, Spanish, French, Creole, Portuguese, Korean, and Mandarin.

New York Connects is funded by the New York State Office for the Aging and the New York City Department for the Aging. Each borough has a New York Connects program. If you live outside of Queens we will direct you to the appropriate program.

Population(s) Served

Selfhelp provides health and social services at four Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) located throughout Queens. NORCs are housing complexes with a large proportion of residents over 60. Because many of the tenants wish to remain in their homes and now require essential support to do so, NORC programs, including those managed by Selfhelp, provide senior residents with the supportive services they need to continue living in their own homes. These include: case management, supportive counseling, health screenings, and social, recreational, and educational programs.

Case management services provided by a professional social worker may include supportive counseling, financial management and long term care planning, referral to community resources and help with applying for and securing entitlements and benefits. Our registered nurses provide blood pressure and other medical screenings and evaluations for additional services including skilled nursing care, psychiatric treatment, physical therapy and hospice care.
Ambulatory and wheelchair-assisted seniors can utilize our mini-van that makes weekly trips to supermarkets, banks, shopping malls and nearby cultural and recreational points of interest.

There are a variety of volunteer opportunities at our NORCs that provide greater social interaction and community participation. Residents may escort other seniors on shopping trips, visit those who are lonely or homebound, provide telephone reassurance, work in our office, join the Advisory Council, plan and lead recreation activities or get involved in fund raising projects.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people in the area with access to affordable housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Affordable Senior Housing

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Selfhelp strives to provide the highest quality of care for the more than 25,000 seniors who are at risk of losing their independence. This includes 5,000+ aging Holocaust survivors. Affordable Housing is also a major priority within the organization, as we plan to develop more buildings that will accommodate the growing number of seniors who deserve to live independently in a supportive environment. Finally, Selfhelp works to offer comprehensive care to seniors with a range of services - home care, senior centers, Alzheimer's adult day-care programs, community guardianship, computer programs for homebound - that are seamlessly offered to fit each individual's needs.

Selfhelp's myriad programming and its highly competent staff propel the organization forward towards achieving its mission. The Holocaust Survivor Program, the largest in North America serving Holocaust survivors, continues to provide superior comprehensive services to this frail population. The eighteen Affordable Housing buildings owned and operated by Selfhelp also give clients a secure environment and provide them on-site supportive social work services. The Virtual Senior Center is a groundbreaking technology program that engages homebound seniors with each other and the larger community through online classes offered via the internet.

Since 1936, Selfhelp has been a primary source of support to Holocaust survivors and at-risk seniors in New York City. With a highly trained staff, especially in the Holocaust Survivor Program where employees are uniquely trained to serve the needs of this fragile population, Selfhelp has been able to establish itself as a major provider of senior services in the New York City area.

With a board committed to Selfhelp's mission and entrusted with empowering the organization, Selfhelp continues to explore the latest innovations in senior services. Our Home Health Aide Training Program continues to train and employ new aides each year who work hard to care for our clients. Finally, Selfhelp has a strong background in Affordable Housing since the 1960s, as the organization was one of the first ten buildings in New York City to provide residents with an innovative senior center, making Selfhelp a pioneer.

Annually, Selfhelp serves more than 25,000 older adults, with services ranging from home health care to enhanced case management for Holocaust survivors.

Selfhelp now operates 18 affordable senior housing residents throughout New York City, with three more in the pipeline. Two new buildings were designed by noted architect Daniel Libeskind. External evaluation shows that our on-site social service model helps to improve health outcomes for our residents.

The Selfhelp Virtual Senior Center (VSC) has grown in size and reach. This service, which connects homebound older adults to a wider online community, has proven especially useful during COVID. We are enhancing the underlying technology, and expanding the program throughout New York State.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


Selfhelp Community Services Inc

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Selfhelp Community Services Inc

Board of directors
as of 01/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Raymond V.J. Schrag

Victor A. Wyler

Ernest L. Bial

Montgomery, McCracken, Kurzman, Karelsen

Peter L. Simmons

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson

Dennis Baum

Oppenheimer and Company

Matthew A. Cantor

Jeffrey S. Jacob

Peter H. Jakes

Barry Konig

Ronald F. Ries

Raymond VJ Schrag

Staci Barber

Scott Drassinower

Ralph P. Marash

Alfred Netter

Sheryl Silverstein, DMD

Tai Wang

WAC Lighting

Scott Krawitz

Brian Marcus

Fred Marcus Photography

Anna Schneur

Richard Roberts

Kevin Portnoy

Jessica McCall

Laura Quiros

Wayne Locke

Jerry Lo

Lynne Wolitzer

Sheryl Simon

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/22/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/22/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.