HANAC was founded in 1972 by George Douris to assist the large number of immigrants that were settling in the Astoria community of Queens. Although many of these immigrants were from Greece, HANAC was committed to serve all newly arriving immigrants who required assistance.
At the time, George Douris was working for the Long Island Press and had formed many friendships with elected officials, including Mayor John Lindsay. He approached the Mayor, explained the problem and sought his assistance. The outcome of those conversations was a planning grant for $75,000 to establish HANAC as the organization to administer the funds and to determine the scope of the problem confronting these new Americans.
With that $75,000, HANAC opened an office in Astoria, hired staff and identified Columbia and NYU students to conduct a study that would ultimately determine the service priorities for this newly formed organization. After a year of canvassing the community, speaking to residents and surveying their needs a report was produced that established the priorities that HANAC would work to implement.
Foremost was a priority to meet the needs of the elderly in Astoria and to address the serious problems of immigrants. In that regard, HANAC submitted proposals to the City for a senior center and an ESL program and were successful. Throughout the years numerous other proposals were submitted to both the City and State, and HANAC was fortunate to have many funded.
Today HANAC provides services to the elderly, youth, and families in the areas of employment, entitlements, substance abuse and counseling.