The reverend Domingo Vazguez was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico in 1951. As a stranger to to New York City with no language skills in 1965 he bgan taking English classes and training in Union Vocations. Eventually geting a job at the Franklyn Plaza Housing Complex in East Harlem he worked his way up to the position of Supervisor. A position he kept for 17 years.
In 1986 Vazquez accepted Christ as his personal savior and his calling to help others was manifest.
The Friendly Hands Ministry was founded in 1992, it’s mission – community enrichment and growth. Since its inception, the organizations goal has been to provide programs and services to the families of the East Harlem community that will help to rebuild lives as well as stabilize neighborhoods. As such, the Friendly Hands Ministry has been continuously providing 1000 hot meals per week through it’s soup kitchen program, providing groceries to over 250 families each month, providing information, education and referals to the most vulnurable in the community including poverty stricken families, the homeless, substance abusers, as well as those directly affected by the traumas of domestic violence.
As a community activist, Reverend Vazquez has been fortunate to serve the community at many policy making levels. He is an active member of the 25th Precinct’s Community Affairs Board, Community Board Number 11, is and is a member of the Metroploitan Hosptial Community Advisory Board, to name a few.
A Labor of Love. Un Labor de Amor
East Harlem is facing an affordable housing crisis. As such, the Friendly Hand Ministry (FHM) has taken a bold and leadership position in helping to shape the discussion central to this housing crisis. As co-developer, FHM was able to ensure that a seven story building located at 225-41 East 118th Street, in East Harlem was developed for mixed use. The building hosues 76 families and includes community space. This project was done in conjunction, with, and under the New York City Housing Preservation and Development’s Mixed Income Rental Program.
Rev. Domingo Vazquez
In the spring of 2004 the Friendly Hands Ministry obtained funding from HPD and New York City to develop the “Friendly Hands Apartment Project.” This is was to be a multiple dwelling residential complex for low income families. In 2009 the Friendly Hands Apartments were opened. Today over 80 familes reside in the development.
In the summer of 2010 the Friendly Hand Ministry embarked on its second housing project, “Harlem River Point” and in 2013 it was successfully completed and fully occupied.