Goddard Outreach Workers Keep It Up Amid New Restrictions; How to Help the Mission

Goddard homeless outreach team.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Goddard Riverside was taking care of the most vulnerable among us long before the coronavirus hit — and will continue to do so, according to Executive Director Roderick L. Jones. Goddard is one of the oldest social service agencies in the city, dating back to the late 1800s, with outposts all over the Upper West Side.

“Our core programs are still operating 24/7,” Jones wrote in an email on Wednesday. “Right now, our outreach team is on the streets helping people who are experiencing homelessness move into permanent housing. Our supportive housing residences are keeping people safe and warm. Our home-delivered meals program is still delivering 500 meals each day and our senior centers are now packaging breakfast and lunch for older adults so they still have access to a fresh and hot meal.”

The hardest thing about nonprofit work is raising the money to support programs and services. For Upper West Siders who want to help, a donation of any amount is a sure-fire way. And don’t miss the opportunity to write handwritten notes to seniors who are sheltering in place to help ease their isolation (and yours.) Instructions are in the letter below, which also speaks of future volunteer opportunities.

Dear Neighbors,

I am reaching out to you, our neighbors and partners, in this time of uncertainty. Goddard Riverside continues to work every day for a fair and just society, even as the COVID-19 situation escalates. As we have done for more than 160 years, Goddard Riverside is responding to the needs of New Yorkers as best we can and adapting our programs to these changing times.

We are an organization that is rooted in community, and we are working hard to find new ways to create community without gathering in person. We have suspended many of our programs that serve groups of people, from our Early Learn Centers to our Community Arts Program. But we are moving as many services as possible to an online or remote setting—for example, our counselors are speaking daily with seniors or those living with mental challenges. Our Law Project and Resource Center are connecting with community members over the phone to continue to provide guidance and support.

Our core programs are still operating 24/7. Right now, our outreach team is on the streets helping people who are experiencing homelessness move into permanent housing. Our supportive housing residences are keeping people safe and warm. Our Home Delivered Meals program is still delivering 500 meals each day and our senior centers are now packaging breakfast and lunch for older adults so they still have access to a fresh and hot meal. We are working hard to ensure some of our most vulnerable neighbors are still surrounded by care, but we need your help now more than ever.

Donate here to make a gift today and help us fill the gaps. We know that our most pressing needs include emergency food for our neighbors, transportation and technology to support our staff, increased maintenance and cleaning supplies, and resources to adapt our services to community needs.

Goddard Riverside will continue to post information about changes to our programs and ongoing needs on our website www.goddard.org.

We are stronger together, and even while we are keeping our distance, we are striving to keep people connected. One way you can help is by sending a handwritten card to some of our older adult residents who are currently practicing social distance:
Goddard Riverside
Attn: Older Adults Project
593 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024

We are doing everything we can to keep everyone in our community safe, healthy, and supported. To ensure everyone’s safety, at this time we are not accepting volunteers. But we know that Goddard Riverside will ultimately need volunteers and supplies. First, we must assess the most urgent needs and how we can best respond. If you are interested in helping your neighbors, please sign up here so we can reach out to you about upcoming opportunities to be involved.

Click here for more ways to donate.

While we care for those we come in contact with, we want to be sure that you, our supporters also stay safe during these challenging times. Please:

If possible, stay at home
Use social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from people outside of your home
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when arriving at new places

I want to personally thank you for your ongoing support that enables us to respond in a crisis like this. Together, we can get through this.

Regards,

Roderick L. Jones.
Executive Director

NEWS | 1 comment | permalink
    1. Sheila Kendrick says:

      I am so proud to be involved with this organization! They provide services to so many — even during this difficult time!