Manuel’s Story

Manuel is a man with a plan. He loves to cook and aspires to be a chef at a 5-star restaurant one day. Until then, he hones his skills at home preparing his children’s favorite meals each week. A hard-working, single father of three teenagers, ‘family first’ is his mantra and guiding force through good times and bad.

When a series of unfortunate events caused Manuel to lose his job, fall behind in rent, and eventually lose his apartment, he worried about his kids, he worried for himself; he needed to find a way to keep his family together.

Manuel and his children moved into SCO’s Flushing Family Residence in Brooklyn to help him get back on his feet. Manuel recalls, “They gave us a second chance at life. SCO provided me with a roof over my head, access to food pantries, and even provided us with fun and recreation that lifted our spirits.”

While at the shelter, the family received counseling, housing services, and family support services to ease the transition. Manuel laid out a clear path for his family. His goal was to “find us a home, build a foundation, and get the kids in school.” He wasted no time in setting that plan in action. Manuel found steady employment working at a men’s shelter, which he recalls “opened my eyes and pushed me to want to be better and do better for my family.” Staff helped Manuel find an apartment suitable for his large family and their cat Patrick, who had been living with a friend. And all three children settled into their new schools and new life.

“SCO is heaven sent,” exclaimed Manuel. “I am able to do more for my family now and live a productive life.”

Arjun’s Story

When Arjun joined SCO’s Individual Residential Alternatives program in 2014, his developmental disabilities and behavioral challenges greatly impacted his ability to function. They were so severe that he could not be in crowds, public spaces, and was unable to socialize. There were times when Arjun would refuse to eat meals with his housemates.

With the help and dedication of SCO’s staff, a plan was developed to help Arjun address these challenges and work towards achieving his goals. Last summer, Arjun attended the YMCA Camp Huguenot with his peers where he had a blast doing a variety of activities such as archery, rock climbing and canoeing. The fun did not stop there! After the camping trip, Arjun took a major step forward and drove to Battery Park with his sister and aunt. He entered the car with no hesitation and walked the High Line, went for pizza and drove around Manhattan with his family where he showed almost zero signs of anxiety.

Today, Arjun attends SCO’s community habilitation, partakes in various activities such as volunteering at canned food drives, delivering food to elderly adults, going to the bowling alley, and going to the local church’s gym to play basketball and soccer. Arjun spends quality time with his peers and he is now able to enjoy going out and be among his friends and family. He is also taking road-trips with his parents to Virginia and going on camping trips with his housemates without having anxiety.

Arjun’s breakthrough is the definition of a success story! He continues to thrive, and we are sure that Arjun will continue to work towards more independence and integration into his community.

 

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CFL Beacon Communty Center at PS 1

The Beacon Center is a cornerstone of the Sunset Park community. Located in PS 1, the Beacon Center provides a wide range of after school activities as well as evening and weekend services, workshops, summer enrichment programs, and recreational activities open to every family in the neighborhood. The Beacon Center is a vital hub of activity within the neighborhood and serves as a gathering place for local and family celebrations and community activities. Learn more about our programs for students at PS 1.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Families in Sunset Park.  Children seeking after school, school-age child care and summer day camps, service learning and youth leadership activities, job-readiness and youth employment, indoor/outdoor Neighborhood Centers, and parent, family and community special events

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

The Beacon hosts programming for area residents of all ages.  After school and day camp: ages 5-13.  CIT: 14 and older

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program at 718.492.2619

This program is associated with...

Center For Family Life

Our mission is to promote positive outcomes for children, adults and families in Sunset Park through the provision of a comprehensive range of neighborhood-based family and social services. Read More

Success Stories

Manuel’s Story

Homeless Services & Family Support

“SCO is heaven sent. I am able to do more for my family now and live a productive life.” - Manuel Learn More

Arjun’s Story

Individual Residential Alternatives

With the help and dedication of SCO’s staff, a plan was developed to help Arjun address his challenges and work towards achieving his goals. Learn More

We help

1,400

children and young adults through foster care programs

148

students in our transfer high schools who were at risk of dropping out graduated with a Regents diploma