Making Census Of It: As Brooklyn's Chinese-American Population Grows, Some Call For More Services
Certain areas in Brooklyn have seen an influx of Chinese-Americans according to the 2010 census, and some say it’s time for neighborhood services to catch up with them. NY1’s Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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From the basketball courts to the handball courts, Chinese-American kids have taken to Dyker Beach Park. It's not Brooklyn's Chinatown, but what was once a traditionally Italian-American residential area.
"When the Italians move out, it becomes Chinese ownership," said Katie Wong, community representative for State Senator Marty Golden.
Wong has held her position for the last nine years as the Chinese community quickly began to expand beyond Brooklyn's Chinatown to the Southwest part of the borough.
They've flocked to neighborhoods like Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Bath Beach. 41 percent more Asians were counted in Brooklyn in the 2010 census than a decade ago.
"We’ve created a Chinese-American partnership which is an organization of volunteers that work with the Chinese-Americans helping to get services," said State Senator Golden.
Among the services Golden helps fund is this senior center in Bensonhurst which opened in 2004. It offers the growing elderly Chinese population social activities as well as health and wellness programs. It has about 1,000 members and operates four days a week, but the center says there's a need to open five days a week here.
"In Brooklyn, there is not one Chinese senior center that is funded for operations by the city's Department of the Aging,” said Richard Kuo, executive director of Homecrest Community Services. “And we hope that the 2010 census will change that dynamic, that additional funds will be provided by the city."
Homecrest Community Services runs this Bensonhurst site as well as a larger one in the Sheepshead Bay area.
The Chinese population in Gravesend is also on the rise. Chinese-Americans say they're attracted to the good schools, housing and transportation.
"We Chinese-Americans are along the subway lines, because we commute into our jobs and other areas of the city, we need to have subway lines,” said Kuo.
Still, more services may be required for this burgeoning population.