From its inception GOSO recognized the importance of establishing partnerships with the City of New York Department of Correction (DOC) and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) who make our outreach and services within the jail possible.
The DOC staff ensures our access to clients on a daily basis throughout their time in jail. The DOE, which oversees the East River Academy on Rikers Island, supports our clients in attending school and completing their high school diploma or GED while they are incarcerated.
Our partnership with the NYS Department of Correctional Services enables us to maintain contact with GOSO participants who have been sentenced to upstate facilities. On the outside GOSO has established partnerships with more than 50 social service organizations, education and training institutions, healthcare providers and advocacy programs. Through that network, we are assured that every young man we reach will find the services and support he needs successfully reintegrate into the community.
Leading GOSO Partners/
City of New York Department of Corrections (DOC) is our oldest and most important partner. The DOC provides GOSO staff and volunteers with daily access to the many facilities that house young men who are sentenced or detained on Rikers Island and enables us to provide them with mentoring, supportive counseling, reentry planning and legal interventions such as letters of support and court visits. Early intervention during incarceration is one of the most important components of our program.
New York City Department of Education (DOE) has collaborated closely with GOSO since we first arrived on Rikers Island. GOSO staff and volunteers visit the East River Academy (previously Horizon Academy) to inform inmates about our program services and recruit new participants. The GED and highschool education that the DOE provides inmates on Rikers Island is essential for their successful reentry into the community. More recently, the DOE opened a GED Plus program at GOSO’s East Harlem facility where our participants can prepare for their GED exams and receive college counseling under the close supervision of our staff.
The NYC Center for Economic Opportunity’s Work Progress Programhas provided subsidies for GOSO internships in outdoor advertising, horticulture and green building maintenance. WPP Internships have given our participants hands-on job experience, valuable training and marketable skills, and have helped them develop confidence and self esteem. In many instances, these internships have led to permanent employment and opportunities for career advancement. Paid job internships have become one of our most effective workforce development tools.
The Horticultural Society of New York (HORT) is a not-for-profit organization with a 112 year presence in New York City whose mission is to sustain the vital connection between people and plants. HORT has developed a training and employment program, the GreenTeam Internship Program that provides horticultural training and job readiness skills for underemployed young adults. HORT has provided many GOSO participants with training and hands-on job experience in ecological restoration, horticulture, basic landscaping, and hardscape skills.
Titan Outdoorsis the largest transit advertising company in North America, providing sales, marketing, creative, research and maintenance of creative outdoor advertising on bus, rail, bulletins, telephone kiosks and street banners. Titan also leads the way in the development and successful introduction of market leading digital outdoor platforms. Titan has partnered with GOSO over the years to provide both internships and permanent jobs to many of our participants, providing skills and job experience in the areas of office and clerical work, warehouse services, onsite signage installation and maintenance of displays.
The New York Reentry Education Network (NYREN) is a group of leaders and organizations in New York City dedicated to increasing educational access and success for people with criminal justice backgrounds. NYREN includes community based organizations providing services to the reentry population, city and state government partners involved in adult literacy, education and corrections including the New York City Department of Education (DOE), New York City Department of Corrections (DOC), and New York City Department of Probation (DOP), and representatives from higher education institutions. The NYREN participants share information, mobilize around significant common issues, engage policy leaders in their work, and undertake collaborative projects. NYREN has recently produced its first publication “Strategies for Engaging Students Involved with the Criminal Justice System.”The guide provides profiles of a number of the community based organizations who are members of the network. Download a pdf of the new NYREN guide.
The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, an acting school in New York City founded by the actress and teacher Stella Adler, collaborates with the GED Plus class at GOSO to introduce playwriting to GOSO students. Tom Demenkoff, Stella Adler Outreach Director, visits the GOSO GED program once a week during the school year and team-teaches the playwriting class with our GED instructor John Parada. The project helps students improve their reading and writing skills, teaches critical thinking, and gives them the tools to both explore the world around them and articulate their own experience.
The Young Men’s Clinic (YMC), a community based health clinic located in Washington Heights that offers a variety of low cost health services to 12-35 year old men and assists them in applying for health insurance. Because of its long-time experience in working with reentry programs in NYC, YMC can be counted on to treat our participants with dignity and respect.
Brooklyn Workforce Innovations helps jobless and working poor New Yorkers establish careers in sectors that offer good wages and opportunities for advancement. GOSO participants attend BWI training programs in areas as diverse as cable installation, carpentry, commercial driving services, and television and film production assistance.
Youth Represent is a legal advocacy organization located in New York City. Its mission is to ensure that young people affected by the criminal justice system are afforded every opportunity to reclaim lives of dignity, self-fulfillment, and engagement in their communities. Youth Represent educates our clients about their legal rights and intervenes for them when they face discrimination in the areas of education, housing, and employment.