Coronavirus: A Letter from Executive Director Rod Jones

An image of a meal prepared for home delivery and another of workers in Homeless Outreach jackets combined with the slogn Now More Than Ever ... Staying a Community

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.  

Many of you have been hit hard by the pandemic yourselves. We’re here for you and hope you’ll reach out to us. But if you’re in a position to give, we would love to put your donation to work supporting immediate and critical needs. These are things like 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. You can donate by clicking here. 

We would also love your help with a project aimed at keeping spirits up amongst our older adult residents. By sending them handwritten cards and letters, you can help them feel connected even while the virus is forcing them to distance themselves from others. Here’s the address to use:

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 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.   

We’re in touch with state and city officials on a daily basis as we reshape our services to meet new standards and guidelines. We will continue to post information about changes to our programs and ongoing needs on our website   

Please stay safe during these challenging times:  

▪ 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 being part of a vibrant community that enables us to respond in a crisis like this. Together, we can get through this.  


Signature of Roderick L. Jones, Goddard Riverside executive director
Official head shot of Rod Jones, wearing a gray jacket and tie with a pink and white checked shirt