Isaacs Center

What We Do

Deliver Meals on Wheels

The Isaacs Center Meals on Wheels delivery area covers the East Side of Manhattan from 59th Street to 142nd Street. As the lead contractor for this service area, Isaacs staff members are responsible for delivering seven meals a week in direct collaboration with partner agencies, including the Carter Burden Center, Union Settlement Association and Roosevelt Island Senior Center.

For a second year, Isaacs participated in NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) pilot project, which provided an intake and outreach worker who identified more isolated elderly with a high need for nourishing meals on a regular basis. Due to continued outreach efforts last year, Issacs was able to identify and serve more of these individuals than in previous years. The average daily meal delivered has climbed from 755 in FY2012 to 887 in FY2013 to 1,006 for FY2014 a 33% increase.

School Age Children & Adolescents

Many of the members of our community are single-parent, working families who earn far below what is needed to make ends meet. Last year, more than 90% of the children and adolescents who participated in our programs resided in the Isaacs/Holmes public housing development where we are located and 74% qualified for free or reduced lunch in schools. Although they live in one of the wealthiest zip codes in New York City, 63% of families who have children enrolled in Isaacs Center After School Programs and Summer Day Camp receive food stamps.

Today, we are developing an ambitious set of programs focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) learning that are grade-level appropriate, aligned with Common Core standards, and incorporate literacy, civics, and fitness. With the support of key community partners, this new model out-of-school time programs at the Isaacs Center will prepare the children we serve with the skills, experiences, and resources they will need to gain entry into high performing New York City high schools.

After School and Summer Day Camp

Located at our Youth Center, our onsite After School program was attended by 75 children in kindergarten to 5th. More than 100 children attended Summer Day Camp.

Beacon Community Center

We operate a Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Beacon Community Center three blocks from Isaacs/Holmes. 529 adults and 305 youth participated in a myriad of services for the whole family, including community events and celebrations and evening and weekend programming.

Beacon Afterschool Program

Youth in Kindergarten through 4th grade receive academic enrichment with a thematic focus. 80 children attended this program.

Beacon Tween Zone

100 children participated in theBeacon Tween Zone,a middle school afterschool program for 5th-8th graders designed to expose youth to various careers, while supporting their social-emotional growth.

Young Adults

Our programs for out-of-school and out-of-work youth provide pathways to a positive and productive adulthood for more than 175 at risk young people each year. Many come to the Isaacs Center looking for a second (or even third) chance at success and more than 85% of our enrollees complete our education and career readiness training. We want the young adults we serve to find meaningful employment, to earn a college degree, and to prepare for a career in the 21st century.

Youth Employment and Education Services (YES)

Our services are characterized by a variety of unique approaches that boost outcomes for youth:

  • There are no baseline criteria required to enter the program, such as reading at specific grade level or having a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • We provide on-site High School Equivalency (HSE) classes that are infused with college preparation and career readiness. We also offer a Young Adult Literacy Program for participants who need to improve their reading to enter HSE classes.
  • We provide a three-phase workforce development model that includes job readiness, intensive career sector-focused training, and education and employment placement services.
  • We provide sector training in Food Preparation/Culinary Arts, Hospitality/Customer Service, Geriatrics (Home Health Aide), and Child/Youth Care.
  • All job training is reinforced through internships on-site.
  • We provide individualized retention support to all clients for up to 2 years to help them refine and meet their goals.
  • We emphasize long-term planning and initiate frequent assessment of clients. Through these efforts, we are able to adjust and fine tune our goals to keep youth engaged and career goals relevant.

Scholarship Program

Each June, the Isaacs Center celebrates the achievements of all college-bound teens and young adults at the annual Isaacs Center Scholarship Awards event. Since the first scholarships were awarded in 1985, the Isaacs Center has awarded more than a quarter of million dollars in financial assistance to support 225 students on pathways to post-secondary education. For students of color, especially those from under-resourced communities like East Harlem, the modest financial assistance that the Isaacs Center provides through its scholarship program helps to ensure a successful semester and sets a course for long-term achievement. These scholarships can help to close an individual student’s financial aid gap, cover the costs of books and transportation, and ensure a student has the right technology to excel in school.

The 2015 cohort of scholarship recipients comparable to previous years:

  • First in their family to go to college,
  • Actively engaged in the East Harlem community,
  • Participated in wide range of highly selective internships (including Museum of New York, Bank of New York Mellon, and Roosevelt Hospital) and employment experiences (including serving as group leaders, program aides, and activity specialists as part of Isaacs Center’s after school program for children 5-10 years of age),
  • Completed SAT Kaplan program.
  • The cohort included high school and GED graduates.

The Isaacs Center scholarship program is open for individuals ages 17 to 24 with financial need, a history of involvement with the center, and a plan to use the money to achieve their goals. The number and amount of the awards varies from year to year. Several of the awards are named in memory of relatives and community members.

Business Advisory Board

The Isaacs Center is currently searching for influential industry leaders from multiple business and professional fields of trade. These leaders will to help shape the collective futures of individuals enrolled in courses within the Education & Workforce Development division. Business Advisory Board members work with the Board of Directors and Executive Management teams to help improve, shape and guide curriculum, trainings and student experiences. They will also play a direct role in helping to cultivate interest in your field through internships and job shadowing opportunities. If you are interested in joining the Business Advisory Board, please email Kwame Mensah, Manager of Sector Training and Development, at

Older Adults

Our goal is to help older adults live in dignity and maintain their health and independence as they age.

Senior Center

In operation for almost 50 years, the Isaacs Center Senior Center is highly regarded for the quality and diversity of its programs. The Center has a long history of offering daily activities that promote both physical and mental health. The Senior Center offers a multitude of wellness activities, fitness programs, media and technology classes, arts and cultural enrichment, social and self-advocacy experiences, and community celebrations. In addition to activities the Senior Center offers breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, and afternoon snacks through Cafe Stanley.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC)

The purpose of NORC services is to help improve the lives of senior residents of the Isaacs/Holmes through on-going assessments of need, supportive engagement and the provision of effective interventions. NORC Case Management Staff Members collaborate with NYCHA’s Social Services Department, particularly around rent issues, working with management and client to find a reasonable solution to prevent eviction. In addition, the Isaacs Center works with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York to provide health care case management including assessing needs and developing care plans with the client and/or the client’s family members or caregivers and arranging and coordinating services and resources on the NORC resident’s behalf.


SINCLINK is our monthly Senior Center newsletter. It includes our daily activities, announcements, news, trips, and delicious menu for the Senior Center and Meals on Wheels program.

Click below to download our latest issue.

November 2016
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