Formerly known as the Edwin Gould Academy, the residence hosts a housing program for young adults and single parents, ages 18 to 25, and is being renamed in honor of Mary Ellen McLaughlin and Joe McLaughlin (of no relation). Joe was Good Shepherd’s first lay board member and guided the organization through tremendous growth, and Mary Ellen McLaughlin was a lifelong children’s champion who served as Good Shepherd’s Assistant Executive Director of Family Foster Care and Adoption.
“Finding a safe, supported place to sleep at night should not be a constant concern or struggle for young people, but in New York it is often an unfortunate reality. But today, we are proud to reopen our doors to roughly 40 young adults and single parents in East Harlem and provide them with a newly renovated home and the support they need to thrive” said Sister Paulette LoMonaco, Executive Director Good Shepherd Services. “The McLaughlin East Harlem Residence will serve as a living legacy to Good Shepherd champions Joe and Ellen McLaughlin, whose tireless support and commitment to young people inspired us to embark on this new chapter in East Harlem.”
The event further honored key benefactors by dedicating two public spaces – the community room and conference room – respectively to the Conrad Hilton Foundation, a generous supporter of the facility and its residents, and the Edwin Gould Foundation, the residence program’s original creator and a long-time advocate. The Edwin Gould Foundation additionally took the opportunity to present Good Shepherd Services with a check for $100,000 in continued support of the residence’s work.
With vast improvements to the units’ kitchens, multi-purpose room, plumbing and electric systems, and flooring, the East Harlem residence will continue to provide safe, affordable housing to young adults through studio apartments and supportive housing units for single parents. In addition to housing, the center offers a host of services and support which include counseling, peer groups, life-skills training, and referrals – all designed to meet the emotional, employment, housing, educational, and legal needs of youth in one convenient setting.
As one of the largest providers of youth services in New York City, Good Shepherd Services serves over 30,000 children and families each year and provides a variety of programs focusing on family, education, housing and youth justice for New York’s Harlem community.
Photo credit: Jamaal Dozier.