Books about two pressing issues facing New Yorkers claimed the top prizes at our annual Social Justice Never Sleeps Bash as we celebrated another year of investing in people and strengthening community.
A capacity crowd filled Monarch Rooftop, enjoying autumn breezes and a closeup view of the Empire State Building as the prize-winning titles were announced. Read about the winners and all nine outstanding shortlisted books here.
The young people in our Performing Arts Conservatory kicked off the program by performing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins on video—an excerpt from their sold-out show this summer.
Host Angela Henry recounted the many challenges our community has faced this year. “Goddard Riverside has continued to do remarkable work as needs continue to grow. The pandemic, the economy, the shortage of affordable housing here in New York City have all stretched families and the community,” she said. “Our programs support over 25,000 New Yorkers each year, a number that continues to grow.”
A video on our anti-homelessness work visited our transitional housing residence in Elmhurst, the Baxter; followed one of our homeless outreach teams on a shift in and around Central Park; and explored the power of supportive housing—residences specifically designed to help people transition into permanent housing from life on the streets.
“Our housing portfolio ranges from prevention all the way through opportunities to start again,” said Goddard Riverside President Roderick Jones, adding that the programs provide “a foundation for each and every person so they can grow to their fullest potential.”
This exploration of our housing work finished with a portrait of David, a resident of our Capitol Hall supportive housing on the Upper West Side.
David recalled the decades he spent traveling around the country, living on the streets. “The most I ever stayed in one place was two weeks,” he said. “So no one could help me.”
That changed, he recounted, when he met Goddard’s homeless outreach team and was offered a room in Capitol Hall. He’s now lived there for almost 9 years—learning woodworking and helping to organize the daily music schedule at Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon memorial in Central Park.
Goddard “helped change my life,” he said. “I’m the one doing it, but they made it so that I could. They gave me the opportunity and I’m eternally grateful.”
We have omitted David’s last name to protect his privacy