Fatu’s Story

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. She’s currently going to school and working full-time as a paralegal at Queens Defenders, which provides free services to low-income people. Not long ago, she was a recipient of those services.

You see, the future did not always look so bright for Fatu. When she came to live in one of SCO’s residences for youth in foster care in 2018, she had had a difficult childhood, and she’d been in trouble with the law.

When Fatu was 12, her mother returned to their native Liberia with her younger brother, leaving Fatu with an abusive family friend in Queens. She eventually ran away, joined a gang and got into trouble.

When she first came to SCO, Fatu was confrontational with staff and other residents. But despite her rocky start at her new home, SCO staff has been behind her since day one. They encouraged her to further her education and pursue her GED. They showed her the right way to do things, and most of all, they showed her they cared.

Fatu’s former Queens Defenders lawyer, Anthony Martone, played a pivotal role in her turnaround. He saw her potential and went the extra mile to help her by initiating an internship program at the firm for past clients who’ve been through the juvenile justice system. Fatu was the first intern and became the first full-time hire from the program.

Fatu is positive, respectful, and focused. She loves her job and it has inspired her to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

Her turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous, and it serves as an inspiration to other youth. Fatu is living proof of what is possible with a positive attitude, hard work, perseverance, and the help of caring adults who never stop believing in you.

See Fatu’s story in THE CITY.

(Photo: Ben Fractenberg-THE CITY)

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Brooklyn Youth Center

Located in Brownsville, the Brooklyn Youth Center provides a wide array of services to run away and homeless youth throughout the borough of Brooklyn. Youth Center staff provide crisis intervention, counseling and mediation as well as services to help youth pursue educational and career goals and develop independent living skills.

We treat all youth and their families with dignity, respect, privacy, and utmost confidentiality. ALL SERVICES ARE FREE. NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY.

Call our Hotline for help:  877-4-DROP-IN • (877-437-6746)   Read our Brochure»

  • Case management
  • Emergency shelter referrals and advocacy for transitional housing
  • Family mediation
  • Mental health
  • Health and substance abuse treatment referrals
  • Hygiene assistance
  • Food and emergency clothing
  • Homeless prevention services
  • Assessment and referrals
  • Youth and family resources
  • Public education and awareness of the NYC DYCD continuum of services for runaway and homeless youth
  • Application assistance for NY/NY III supportive housing

Hours:
Open 24/7

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Young men and women in Brooklyn who are runaway or homeless

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Young men and women who have already reached the age of 14, but are not yet 25 years old

How to Access this Program or Service

Call our Hotline at 877-4-DROP-IN (877-437-6746).  Or call 311/DYCD Youth Connect (1-800-246-4646 or 646-343-6800)

Success Stories

Madelin, Omariano & Mariano

Baby & Me

“I get so much out of it. I don’t know what I’d do without Baby & Me.” Learn More

Fatu’s Story

Changing Her Trajectory

At 19, Fatu’s future looks bright. She plans to go to Monroe College in the fall to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. Learn More

Last year,

94%

of children in our early education centers met or exceeded goals for social-emotional development

100%

of eligible residents at our Madonna Heights Residential Treatment Facility participated in work, internship, or volunteer activities

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