JoAnne Page Selected For Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration

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On The Loss of Eddie Ellis


The Fortune family mourns the loss of Eddie Ellis, a great leader in the field of social justice. Eddie Ellis was a pioneer in prisoner advocacy. He fought for human rights as a prisoner during the Attica Riots. He fought…Read More

Bloomberg LP Volunteers at The Castle


On Tuesday July 8 a group of young volunteers from Bloomberg LP joined us at the Castle and Castle Gardens ready to get their hands dirty. The group helped beautify our Community and Sky Gardens while learning  about The Fortune…Read More

JoAnne Page Selected For Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration


Fortune’s CEO JoAnne Page has been selected by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration. Details on the announcement can be read below in the official Press Release from Governor Cuomo’s…Read More

Congratulations! A Conversation with Adelaide


Congratulations! A Conversation with Adelaide Last week, we celebrated with The Fortune Society’s founder David Rothenberg, who was honored at the New York City Council’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) Pride Celebration on June 18, 2014. On June 25,…Read More

Fortune VP Stanley Richards Honored at White House Monday


THE WHITE HOUSE Office of Communications FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 27, 2014 White House Honors Re-entry and Employment “Champions of Change” WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, June 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM the White House will honor local “Champions of…Read More

David Rothenberg Honor Photos


At a June 18 ceremony, Fortune’s founder David Rothenberg was honored as part at this year’s LGBT Pride Celebration! Here are a few photos from the event.

Capital Campaign Celebration Photos


Post by The Fortune Society. Gallery not appearing? View the photos on Facebook!

Celebration for CEO/DoP Community Education Pathways to Success (CEPS) Program


Fortune celebrates the end-of-cycle for our CEO/DoP Community Education Pathways to Success (CEPS) program at Castle Gardens. The event will celebrate the accomplishments of our young adults in the program with spoken word pieces, end of cycle presentations and short…Read More

ACA and Improving Health Access and Outcomes for Justice-Involved Populations


The Affordable Care Act and Improving Health Access and Outcomes for Justice-Involved Populations Cynthia Golembeski (Fortune Staff) Robert Fullilove (Fortune Advisory Board Member) The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be one of the most significant health care…Read More

Fortune Welcomes New Communications Director


Today Fortune welcomes new Communications Director, Jeff Jones. Jeff was most recently the Manager of Marketing and Production at Community Service Society (CSS), and he has strong graphic design skills, along with background in marketing and multi-media production, as well…Read More

June is Gun Violence Awareness Month


This week we begin a new feature in the DRCPP email and on Periodically, a member of the Fortune Community will offer thoughts, share an experience, or check in with you on an important topic. The conversation begins in…Read More

Fortune Founder and Staff Member to be Honored


Fortune Founder and Staff Member to be Honored at LGBT Pride Celebrations Fortune’s founder David Rothenberg and Fortune staff member Adelaide Connaughton will be honored as part at this year’s LGBT Pride Celebration! Mr. Rothenberg will be honored at an…Read More

Fortune Founder’s Letter to the Editor in the NYT


Fortune’s founder, David Rothenberg has had a letter to the editor published in the June 1st edition of The New York Times. …Read More

May Issue of The Fortune News is Available!


Visit our Publications area to download your free copy of The Fortune News for May, 2104.

Miss A Recaps Fortune’s Spring Soiree


Charity and Style site Miss A’s NYC Editor Kristy Rao posted a recap of Fortune’s Spring Soiree. For those of you who missed the event, the article is a great “Who’s Who” of Fortune Supporters. This highly anticipated fundraiser, hosted…Read More

June is Gun Violence Awareness Month


The New York City Gun Violence Task Force is hosting a Gun Violence Awareness Month (GVAM) kickoff, the Not In My Hood March and Resource & Health Fair on May 31, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The 4TH Annual “Not in My…Read More

Fortune’s Spring Soiree is A Success!


This year’s Fortune Spring Soiree was held May 15 at The Bowery Hotel, in Manhattan. Fortune honored Chelsea Clinton for the great work that she has done. The well attended event was enjoyed by all, including Ms. Clinton:

Fortune Attends ATI Rally


Members of the New York Alternative to Incarceration (ATI)/Reentry Coalition joined New York City Council members May 8th on the steps of New York City Hall in a rally to urge City, State and Federal leaders to increase funding and…Read More

Fortune’s Spring Soiree is This Week!


Fortune’s Spring Soirée, honoring the work of Chelsea Clinton, will be held this Thursday, May 15 at the Bowery Hotel in Manhattan. Purchase table/tickets by going to Eventbrite or contact Indrani Nicodemus, Special Events Coordinator, at or 347.510.3448. Ticket prices are tax deductible apart from…Read More

2014 Arts & Theater Festival: Returning to our Roots!


Throughout the entire week of April 28-May 1, 2014, this first-ever week-long FREE Arts & Theater Festival at The Fortune Society will feature Fortune staff, volunteers, and clients, who will present 15 separate theater, music, dance and spoken word events…Read More

The Fortune Flyers Are Back!


The Fortune Society is thrilled to have been chosen, again, to participate in the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2nd . This event is a 26.2 mile run that courses through the five boroughs of New York City….Read More

Castle Gardens Arts Series Continues!


Founded by David Rothenberg in 1967 and named in honor of the play, “Fortune and Men’s Eyes,” which was written by a formerly incarcerated playwright, The Fortune Society’s roots have always been deeply connected with theater and the arts. As…Read More

Triple Bottom Line for Castle Gardens!!!


In July 2010, The Fortune Society opened the doors to Castle Gardens, an approximately 110,000 square foot green, mixed use – affordable and supportive – housing development in West Harlem….Read More

Welcome Dr. James!


Last week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took what is being hailed as a “proactive” approach to addressing the cities budgetary deficit.  He states: “Keeping people out of our jails saves money. We can help to make people…Read More

Fortune President & CEO, JoAnne Page Speaks on Latest Mayoral Move


Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio announced that he was ending the Previous Administration’s Challenge to Local Law 71 That Prohibits ‘Bias-Based’ Profiling in Law Enforcement.  JoAnne Page, President & CEO of the Fortune Society said, “We applaud today’s action by the…Read More

Culinary Arts Program Graduation


On Thursday, February 20th, the 5th cohort of our Culinary Arts Program had their graduation after doing an absolutely excellent job in the past 6 weeks learning the basic culinary skills they will need to get jobs in the culinary…Read More

The New Fortune Tellers!


The Fortune Society has launched its own acting company, The Fortune Tellers! Our production cast will be spending the next couple of months developing an original piece under the guidance of Lucas Caleb Rooney, last seen at Fortune in Much Ado About…Read More

Fortune at the QEDC Event


On February 11th, 2014, as part of our partnership with Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), The Fortune Society had a table at the Entrepreneur Space’s 3rd Anniversary Event. More than 300 community members attended the party with nearly 40 clients…Read More

Fortune to Receive Funding for Addiction-Related Housing


The NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) awarded $1.75 million in grants to five New York City nonprofits to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless families struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol. One of five agencies…Read More

Russia’s Pussy Riot Visit Fortune


Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, founding members of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot, spent the last morning of their last day in New York at Fortune’s Castle Gardens in West Harlem, hearing about post-prison life from women living there….Read More

Fortune Co-Sponsors John Jay Dinner


The 2014 Justice Trailblazer Award Dinner will be honoring Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black will be held February 10th. Hosted by NY1′s Errol Louis, the event is co-sponsored by The Fortune Society. online teaching jobs illustrator…Read More

Fortune Awarded Two DYCD Grants!


The Fortune Society has been awarded two Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) grants to provide services through an Adult Literacy Program ABE/HSE and Young Adult Literacy pre-HSE Instruction. The Adult Literacy Program will serve adults who are at…Read More

Introducing Grab and Go!


Do you find yourself getting tired during the day? Do you find yourself snacking at your desk? Do you frequent vending machines? Do you want to lose a few extra pounds? If you answered YES to any or all of…Read More

‘Released’ Kickstarter Campaign


“Released” is the documentary of the cast of The Fortune Society founder David Rothenberg’s “The Castle”. “Released” documents their individual journeys from addiction, homelessness, abuse, incarceration and ultimately redemption. work from home careers Help to support their fundraising efforts by following the…Read More

Fortune Client Video Shows His Success


Coss Marte, a Fortune Society client who participated in our Transitional Work program, is now an Intake Coordinator at Goodwill Industries and is also the CEO/Founder of Coss Athletics, a physical fitness training company.  This short documentary video captures his…Read More

Fortune applauds Gov. Cuomo For Signing Bill


The New York State Legislature has passed a bill to amend the penal law and the criminal procedure law to allow state judges some leeway in probation sentences. Presently, adult defendants can be given a minimum five-year probation for felony…Read More

Fortune Receives $50,000 from EJAC


Fourteen New York nonprofits, including the Fortune Society, were among the 56 recipients of $4.4 million in December 2013 grants announced by the Elton John AIDS Foundation on January 13th.   The grants bring the EJAF’s total grants for 2013 to…Read More

Introducing Project Compass


Fortune’s Employment Services Program needs your help in getting the word out about Project Compass  — a program which offers job readiness training, hard skills training (culinary/green jobs), placement, mentorship, incentives, metrocards, referral to Fortune’s broad array of programs and…Read More

Fortune Green Jobs Graduation


The Fortune Society held a graduation ceremony December 19th for the graduates of our Green Jobs Training Program, which gives graduates the necessary skills to be competitive in the “green jobs” market. We would like to congratulate the graduates and…Read More

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  • Our Approach

    Founded in 1967, The Fortune Society’s vision is to create a world where all who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated can become positive, contributing members of society. We do this through a holistic, one-stop model of service provision. Our continuum of care, informed and implemented by professionals with cultural backgrounds and life experiences similar to those of our clients, helps ensure their success. Fortune serves approximately 4,500 men and women annually via three primary New York City-area locations: our service center in Long Island City, and both the Fortune Academy (a.k.a. “the Castle”) and Castle Gardens in West Harlem. Our program models are frequently recognized, both nationally and internationally, for their quality and innovation. Click here to view a summary of Fortune’s program and service accomplishments over the past year.

    No Appointment Needed. Call us or stop by today to learn more.
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    "My successful reentry can be directly attributed to the structured support I received from The Fortune Society. Everyone at Fortune – direct service staff to executives – played a personal role in guiding me through this difficult transition.”

    - Larry W., former client and current resident of Castle Gardens

  • Housing

    Welcomes clients home.

    The Fortune Society’s Housing Program empowers homeless, formerly incarcerated individuals and their families to build better futures through stable and affordable housing. By providing low-threshold access to supportive emergency, phased-permanent and permanent housing, our Housing Program meets both the immediate and long-term needs of our clients. Participating clients are able to take the first steps on their journeys towards becoming positive, self-sufficient members of society with the full support of Fortune’s comprehensive reentry service offering and culturally competent staff.

    No Appointment Needed. Call us or stop by today to learn more.
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    “I’ll never forget the moment I first walked through the doors of my new apartment at Castle Gardens. I knew I’d found a safe, healthy place for my kids to grow up. I knew we were truly home.”

    - Claire M., Fortune client and resident of Castle Gardens

  • Employment Services

    Fortune’s Employment Services program is designed to equip formerly incarcerated jobseekers with the skills necessary to obtain employment and thrive in the workplace.  We offer a variety of services to help motivated jobseekers begin their careers and seek professional advancement. Our two-week job readiness workshop teaches clients how to network, excel in interviews, problem-solve, answer difficult conviction questions, and create a professional resume and cover letter.  Individuals completing the work-shop receive career counseling, job placement assistance, and support with job retention.  Fortune also offers skills training which provides industry recognized certifications in both the culinary arts and green construction arenas. Clients who complete the training receive job placement and career advancement services.

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    “When I came home from prison, I didn’t know how I would support myself. Today, I have an honest job I earned with the help of Fortune.”

    - Lloyd R., former Fortune Employment Services client

  • Education

    Opens new doors.

    Our Education program empowers clients to achieve personal and professional goals that might include earning their High School Equivalency diplomas, attending college, or preparing to enter a tough job market. Clients have the opportunity to develop essential reading, writing, math, and computer skills with the support of Fortune’s dedicated teachers. Our small class size allows each individual to progress at his or her own pace, in an environment where all students feel respected and have a say in what they’re learning.

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    “Thanks to Mr. Timothy and the other teachers at Fortune, I’ve finally earned my high school diploma, and can pursue my dream of becoming an electrician. Like Fortune, I want to be responsible for bringing light into people’s lives.”

    - Catherine O., former Fortune client and volunteer

  • Family Services

    Builds strong, healthy relationships.

    Fortune’s Family Services program helps connect clients with their loved ones by supporting personal growth and the development of essential life skills. We offer an array of group and individual services to meet the unique needs of formerly incarcerated mothers, fathers, and expectant parents. Our men and women are given the opportunity to learn vital interpersonal and parenting skills, develop the tools needed to escape a life defined by crime and/or substance abuse, and become positive role models for their children. Additionally, clients receive assistance with child support cases and family reunification issues.

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    "The Fortune Society believed in me when I needed it the most, and I can honestly say that I’m a changed man as a result. I’ve been sober for three years, I’m on my way to getting a business degree, and – most importantly – I’m now the kind of father my daughters can be proud of.”

    - Francisco G., former Fortune client

  • Alternatives to Incarceration

    Offers a fresh start.

    Fortune’s rigorous Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) programs reduce the prison and jail population, save taxpayers millions of dollars, and each year help hundreds of men and women learn how to lead crime-free, productive lives. Clients participating in our rigorous ATI programs are still under strict supervision, but they also receive the life-stabilizing services they desperately need. Those who complete their program successfully receive sentences that require no further incarceration, including probation and community service.

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    “Fortune’s ATI program has helped me to control my anger and express myself in a manner that is appropriate. With Fortune’s help, I was also able to obtain my G.E.D and gain employment.”

    - Abraham V., former Fortune client

  • Mental Health Services

    As of July 2011, Fortune Society clients now have access to a full spectrum of mental health services through The Better Living Center (BLC), our New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) licensed Article 31 mental health clinic. The BLC works to facilitate a seamless transition for mentally ill individuals with histories of incarceration by providing the supportive environment, treatment and therapy they need to manage their mental illness, while also making progress towards achieving their other life goals.

    No Appointment Needed. Call us or stop by today to learn more.
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    “Therapy really helped me understand the connection between my anger issues and the trauma I experienced as a child. The life I live now is full of purpose and peace, and I’m so appreciative that Fortune offers mental health services. I’ll never take this life for granted again.”

    - E.K., Fortune Better Living Center client

  • Substance Abuse Treatment

    Breaks the cycle.

    Fortune’s licensed treatment program empowers clients to address and overcome substance dependency issues. Our medically supervised outpatient program provides client-centered treatment that is geared towards the overall improvement of each client’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Every client begins his or her journey with a full assessment and program orientation, followed by intensive individual and group counseling. We also offer lifetime aftercare, so our clients know they can rely on us to help them navigate future challenges that may threaten their ability to stay on course.

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    “The program helped me to learn I had a problem and to admit to it, that’s the first step to recovery. It also helped me find other ways to not go back to my habits.”

    - D.G., Fortune client

  • Health Services

    Fosters healthy living.

    Fortune’s Health Services team offers clients rapid HIV testing, prevention education, and connection to quality, community-based treatment and care. This holistic and integrated approach to serving formerly incarcerated men and women living with HIV/AIDS, or at risk of developing HIV/AIDS, helps ensure their safe and healthy transition back into the community.

    No Appointment Needed. Call us or stop by today to learn more.
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    “The Fortune Society referred me to a community clinic where I actually feel comfortable, and helped me find a stable place to live. Knowing I have a safe and peaceful place to call home has profoundly improved both my physical and mental health."

    - Robert W., former Fortune client

  • Drop-in Services

    Connects clients to immediate care.

    Through the Rikers Island Transitional Consortium (RITC), The Fortune Society’s Drop-in-Center works in collaboration with The Department of Health & Mental Hygiene to provide Discharge Planning to individuals with HIV from all New York City jails. Upon release, Drop-In-Center staff will pick up and escort these individuals in an agency van, and connect them to medical care and other ancillary services. Once their immediate needs are met, clients are then referred to Fortune’s other supportive reentry services.

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    “The Drop in Center is my second family. The staff has done so much to help me even when I did not want to help myself. They never gave up. I know I can always count on them.”

    - P. Smith, Fortune client

  • Prepare for Release

    Helps men and women in jail prepare for a successful release.

    The I-CAN (Individualized Corrections Achievement Network) program provides skill-building and discharge preparation services to eligible men and women during their incarceration at NYC DOC jails, continuing reentry support following their release. We help them prepare for release by applying for identification documents in advance, and by providing parenting classes, group counseling, professional development courses, continuing education, and relapse prevention workshops. I-CAN is currently available in five Rikers Island facilities, and plan to expand to all NYC DOC jails.

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    “The I-CAN program gave me a second chance at life, and a second chance at making my family proud. The staff is encouraging and they have been great role models.”

    - Bonita R., Fortune client

  • Apply for Benefits

    Helps clients start their journey to successful reentry.

    The Single Stop Benefits Assessment and Referral Program is an integral part of Fortune’s admissions and intake process. In 15 minutes, we help clients find out if they are eligible to receive benefits from any of the 34 earmarked government programs available to low-income individuals. We then work with eligible clients to navigate the application process so that they can secure critical benefits such as Food Stamps and Medicaid and stabilize themselves financially. In addition, the program connects clients with expert advice to help with a wide range of issues such as child support, evictions, accessing criminal records, and much more.

    No Appointment Needed. Call us or stop by today to learn more.
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    “Thank you to the Single Stop program for the guidance they offered me with obtaining benefits. I recommend them to everyone that has benefit issues.”

    - William Q., Fortune client


  • David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP)

    In 2007, Fortune launched the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP) in honor of Fortune’s founder, tireless advocate for the rights and fair treatment of people with criminal records.

    While Fortune has always engaged in advocacy and community education, DRCPP resourced and ramped up Fortune’s policy development, advocacy, technical assistance, training, and community education efforts. DRCPP leverages Fortune’s internal expertise–including the life experience of our formerly incarcerated staff and clients and our first-hand experiences as a direct reentry service provider–to advocate for a fairer criminal justice system; promote effective program models and needed supports for people with criminal justice histories; and change the counterproductive laws and policies that create barriers to successful community reentry following involvement in the criminal justice system.

  • Access to Education

    Higher education achievement for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people is a well-documented tool for reducing recidivism and shaping productive, morally conscious and law-abiding citizens. Additionally, in this tough economy, a college degree is often necessary to get in the door to decent-paying employment. Despite the unquestionable success of the few remaining prison-based college and post-incarceration programs, public funding for these programs has mostly been unavailable nationally since 1994. This is largely due to Federal and state policymakers’ misguided spending cuts and counterproductive “tough on crime” policies. Further, some colleges and universities have adopted discriminatory policies that screen individuals based on criminal background. DRCPP works in partnership with the College and Community Fellowship and the Center for Community Alternatives as a part of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition to address these challenges.

  • Access to Safe, Affordable Housing

    For individuals returning home following incarceration, securing safe and
    affordable housing is often the key to successful integration. This can be a
    challenge, as they often find that their criminal record prevents them obtaining housing, whether in the private sector or in publicly supported housing.

    DRCPP seeks to eradicate counterproductive, misguided and unfair statutory and practical barriers to housing facing those with criminal records who are working to regain their lives and dignity. For example, DRCPP advocates at the federal and local levels for fewer record-based restrictions for access to federally supported housing. We also support a change in the McKinney Vento definition of homelessness that does not recognize individuals in jail or prison for longer than 90 days as in need of supportive housing for homeless individuals.

  • Financial Barriers to Successful Reentry

    Steady employment is critical to successful reintegration, curbing of recidivism and the overall promotion of public safety. Despite this fact, many counterproductive barriers still exist that undermine formerly incarcerated individuals’ best efforts to participate in the labor market and get back on their feet financially. Even when these men and women are able to find employment, they are often unable to make ends meet because of insurmountable child support debt that accumulated as they make $1/day in prison; or other mandatory fees and fines assessed as a result of their involvement in the system. Their wages can be garnished up to 60%, – a fact that further discourages people from staying on the right track during their reentry journey. These policies hamper employment and family reunification, thereby hurting families and communities that are already under distress. DRCPP works for policy changes to address these issues that will support economic independence and financial stability for our clients.

  • Promoting ATI + Sentencing Reform

    While New York has reduced its prison population, the impact of decades of tough on crime policies remains despite NY’s simultaneous success in improving public safety.  DRCPP works to right-size New York’s prison population by promoting alternatives to incarceration; sentencing reform efforts by advocating for a reentry-oriented sentencing code that minimizes the state’s use of incarceration; working with state officials to reduce re-incarceration on technical violations; working on implementation of Rockefeller Drug Law reform; and advocating for the closure of New York State correctional facilities that deplete our limited state resources.

  • Reentry Education Project (REP)

    HIV rates in NYC jails are three to four times higher than in the City’s general population. Upon release, those with HIV/AIDS frequently return to impoverished communities in which addiction and poor health is prevalent. Those who have been incarcerated often encounter a variety of barriers when seeking medical services. As one of NYC’s largest providers of reentry services, The Fortune Society has been awarded a NYC Health Department grant (2013-2016) to help medical personnel integrate culturally competent best practices into the HIV prevention, treatment and care they deliver to Harlem, South Bronx, South Jamaica and East NY residents who have been incarcerated.


The Fortune Society and the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP) have always placed a premium on getting the word out. Founder David Rothenberg first launched The Fortune News in 1967, and we have continued to provided this important resource (for free) to all members of the Fortune family – both inside and out – ever since. Please email us if you would like to subscribe to the Fortune News or have it sent to a currently incarcerated friend or family member.

We also produce toolkits designed to help other advocates and agencies replicate our nationally-recognized service model and unique programs. Now you can download these publications, right here!

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