GOSO Opens New Office In Harlem, For More Services To Justice-Involved People Citywide

Yesterday, GOSO participants, local elected officials, and members of the Harlem community joined GOSO’s CEO, leadership team, co-founder, board members for a ribbon-cutting.

The cutting is for the new leading reentry organization’s new, expanded space on 124th Street in East Harlem.

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The expansion from a small East Harlem storefront to a 3-story, 18,500 sq. ft. office space is a testament to GOSO’s success in helping young people, and the new building will serve as central vocational and educational programming resource for justice-involved people citywide.

The organization’s successes are partly attributable to its unique programmatic model as well to its leadership team: Dr. Jocelynne Rainey (President & CEO), Sonya Shields (Chief Operating Officer), and Abbi Robinson-Hobson (Chief Administrative and Finance Officer).

These three dynamic women have dedicated their lives to empowering incarcerated and justice-involved young men, making GOSO one of the only reentry organizations with a senior leadership composed entirely of women of color.

Dr. Rainey was recently honored as a Manhattan Hero in City & State for her work securing jobs for GOSO participants and distributing key resources to community members and justice-involved individuals during COVID and in Crain’s for GOSO’s racial and social justice advocacy.

…GOSO participants have continued to have less than a 15% recidivism rate compared to more than 67% for young men nationwide.

Founded in 2004, GOSO has demonstrated incredible success in its programming: even during the hardships of COVID, GOSO participants have continued to have less than a 15% recidivism rate compared to more than 67% for young men nationwide.

The new offices will allow GOSO to expand its services to support more justice-involved young men citywide.

The additional space also allows GOSO to expand GOSOWorks’ program and vocational training facilities and move its DOE high school equivalency program into a centrally located headquarters on 124th Street in Harlem.

The additional space also allows GOSO to expand GOSOWorks’ program and vocational training facilities and move its DOE high school equivalency program into a centrally located headquarters on 124th Street in Harlem.

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GOSO is a reentry, youth, and career development nonprofit organization that serves approximately 1,000 justice-involved young men, aged 16 to 24, citywide.

GOSO’s goal is to help participants achieve their employment and educational goals while avoiding further involvement in the criminal justice system.

By providing access to education and vocational training, employment, and individual and group counseling since 2004, GOSO has helped thousands of young men gain financial independence and become contributing members of their communities.

GOSOWorks, a wage subsidy program, connects GOSO participants to employment opportunities with local businesses around New York City.

Utilizing funding from the City of New York, GOSO screens, interviews, and places participants who have completed the Two-Week Job Readiness Curriculum in internship-to-employment (I2E) opportunities.

A GOSOWorks internship is often the first employment experience for many participants, and it helps them use and develop the personal and professional skills needed to succeed in life. 70 percent of young people who complete internships through GOSOWorks attain employment.

GOSO provides additional programming for participants, including vocational training, High School Equivalency classes, and Peer Navigator opportunities, and runs Stand Against Violence East Harlem (SAVE), an anti-gun violence program guided by the principles of Cure Violence, which leverages the experiences of members of the community to do outreach, including people who have been directly affected by gun violence.

SAVE outreach workers and violence interrupters are trained to mediate conflicts on the street and work to de-escalate disputes before crisis or violence erupts.

SAVE connects individuals to extensive networks that provide job training, employment opportunities, mental health services, and legal services that lead to long-term violence reduction.

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For more information, visit www.gosonyc.org.

Photo credit; 1) GOSO President and CEO Jocelynne Rainey (left) and Mark L. Goldsmith, GOSO Founder and CEO Emeritus (right) are joined by State Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez (center). 2) (left to right) Chief Operating Officer Sonya Shields and Chief Administrative Finance Officer Abbi Robinsonson-Hobson. 3) GOSO participant Nicodemus Matthew Hartzog Gomez speaks at the ribbon cutting for GOSO’s new 3-story office building. 4) Harlem community members gather outside of GOSO’s new 3-story office building for the ribbon cutting. 5) The ribbon cutting of GOSO’s new 3-story office tower, attended by State Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez, City Council member Diana Ayala’s office, SAVE East Harlem Director Omar Jackson, and GOSO participants, staff and board members.

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