Isaacs Center Merges with Goddard Riverside 

The Isaacs Center and our fellow settlement house on the Upper West Side, Goddard Riverside, entered into a strategic partnership in May 2021 to enhance the services that both organizations provide to New Yorkers. We were inspired by the sense that our strengths dovetailed, and our areas of expertise would combine to create greater opportunities for our members on both sides of Central Park. The two organizations are merging at the end of June 2024.  

Already we’ve begun building on the synergies in our youth program to create a set of wraparound services. We can now offer a number of different pathways for young people to finish high school, enter the workforce, and complete college or another advanced certification. Some participants do all of the above.  

We’re also centralizing and growing our food services to deliver meals to more New Yorkers who need them, while providing fresh hot food at our Older Adult Centers and other programs.   

What is Goddard Riverside? 

Goddard supports families at every stage of life, serving more than 20,000 people a year on the Upper West Side and throughout New York City. Like the Isaacs Center, Goddard is an active member of the settlement house community. They prioritize dignity and respect, and work within a social justice framework to create a fair and just society where all people have the opportunity to make choices that lead to better lives for themselves and their families. 

Dr. Roderick (Rod) Jones has served as Goddard Riverside Executive Director since February 2017. Rod grew up in New York City public housing and went into social services, first in Rochester and then in St. Louis. He was named Not-for-Profit Leader of the Year in 2011 by the Regional Chamber of Commerce and The St. Louis American. Rod has a doctorate in Education from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York and a Master’s in Public Administration from SUNY-Brockport. He sees the role of settlement houses like Goddard and the Isaacs Center as “enabling people to make the best choices they can for themselves and their families.” 

What has changed? 

The merger brings the Isaacs Center and Goddard together as one organization under one board.  That has given Isaacs administrators a larger staff and access to more resources. We are also able to offer better benefits and more growth opportunities to our staff, who are essential to our good work and deserving of the best possible compensation. Many Senior Isaacs Center leaders have taken on expanded roles with responsibility for more programs. 

What stays the same? 

The Isaacs Center continues to be fully devoted to strengthening the Yorkville and East Harlem neighborhoods where we work. Our local donors and volunteers continue to be essential to our programs. In joining forces with Goddard, we will continue the work we’ve always done while we launch collaborative efforts that improve access to economic security and housing stability for New Yorkers in need. We invite you, our Isaacs Center family, to be a part of this work.