Shana’s Story

I have been challenged with addiction for 10 years, and have been in and out of outpatient treatment and detox several times – but I would always relapse.

When I arrived at Morning Star, I was at the lowest point in my life. Things were spiraling out of control. My four children had been taken from me and placed in foster care with a family member. And then I learned that I was 5 months pregnant.

I arrived with the worst attitude in the world. I was just so angry all the time. But at Morning Star, I started to reflect and gain clarity. I realized that I was hurt and angry with myself. And that’s when the healing began. Everything had been a fight up to that point. But I had nowhere to run – I had to face my problems.

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me.

Every interaction with my counselor and every staff member helped prepare me to re-enter the world clean and ready to thrive.

I attended treatment 5 days a week, attended a medical assistant program, and became certified in a workforce development program for nontraditional roles for women. And I learned that I am worth it! From now on, I show up, set up, and remain teachable.

When my baby, Liliana, was born, I can’t express how much the onsite child care at Morning Star II helped in my recovery. It made it possible for me to go to treatment, attend school, and focus on me. The structure kept me accountable for being a parent and prepared e for the real world.

I knew I was finally on a path to a better life when I left Morning Star. The court saw the improvements in me, too, and my children came back home to me. I never thought that would happen. Today, thanks to Morning Star, I have a home and my family lives under one roof.

I still visit the program to let them know of my progress. My goal is to be fully self-supported. I know there will be obstacles ahead of me. But I am prepared to take it one day at a time.

Our Impact

SCO is focused on providing the best care and services to help our clients succeed. We are with them every step of the way, helping to open doors to opportunities, gain access to resources, and improve the quality of their lives.

How do we measure success? Through their success in achieving their goals in three overarching areas: Learning, Work and Well-being.

Learning

  • 97% of children in our Early Childhood Centers met or exceeded national literacy performance standards
  • 3 out of 4 graduates in our transfer high schools for struggling students were accepted into college
  • 96% of 12th graders in SCO’s Family Foster Care program graduated from high school last year, with 65% enrolled in post-secondary education
  • 93% of graduates at SCO’s high school for over-age, under credited students received a NYS Regent’s diploma

Work

  • 83% of runaway and homeless youth discharged from our shelters are engaged in education or work
  • 4 out of 5 runaway or homeless youth leaving our transitional living program are engaged in educational pursuits or gainful employment
  • 82% of students in our residential school for youth with high-functioning autism are actively involved in weekly internships in the community
  • 368 participants in our Youth Adult Workforce Program at Rikers Island completed our program to become licensed drivers to improve their employability

Well-being

  • 99% of at-risk families throughout Brooklyn and Queens remained together and stable with family support services
  • 100% of participants in our award-winning Father’s Program met their goals by improving their relationship with their children, financial commitment to their children, and/or connecting to essential services
  • 85% of children with complex behavioral health needs discharged from SCO’s Bridges to Health program are successfully living at home and in the community, averting the need for more restrictive institutional care
  • 3 new locations for our Day Habilitation program are helping 40% more adults with developmental disabilities attain higher levels of socialization and independence
  • 247 children left foster care
    • 60% were reunified with their families who worked hard preparing for their return home
    • 25% who could not return home were adopted by loving forever families
    • 15% were successfully put on the path to independent living

In FY 2018, SCO:

  • Sheltered 5,500 youth, adults and children experiencing homelessness
  • Helped 2,200 individuals with special needs develop skills to reach their full potential
  • Guided 9,900 children and teens on the path to academic success through after school, summer and work-readiness programs
  • Prepared 1,600 young children for kindergarten in our early childhood programs
  • Served 1,400 children and young adults in foster care and their families
  • Strengthened families and communities across the metro area, providing 24,000 New Yorkers with counseling, support and community-based services

New Yorkers Served in FY 2018

Shana’s Story

Family First

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me. Learn More

Kaitlyn & Khamion

Early Education & Family Support Services

“I love this school. Sometimes I felt like giving up, but Kaitlyn was always my motivation.” Learn More

4 out of 5

runaway or homeless youth leaving our transitional living programs are engaged in educational pursuits or gainful employment

Last year,

188

youth and adults with special needs participated in volunteer projects in their community