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.”

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CFL Co-op, Business Development

The CFL Cooperative Development Program (CDP) organizes community members to create worker-owned cooperative businesses with the mission of economic and social justice. Through CFL’s holistic, neighborhood-rooted approach, CDP:

  • Builds leadership and coaches cooperative members and community organizations
  • Cultivates relationships to strengthen the cooperative movement
  • Generates and shares best practices and models for cooperative growth

Since 2006, CDP has incubated and supported more than 15 cooperative businesses, including Si Se Puede/We Can Do It cleaning, Beyond Care childcare, Golden Steps elder care, Émigré Gourmet catering, Trusty Amigos dog walking and pet care, Maharlika office cleaning, Sunset Scholars tutoring, and NannyBee childcare.

Resources

For a full list of CFL-supported cooperatives, access our 2019 Cooperative Business Directory. 

Interested in starting a worker cooperative? Fill out this brief form to receive our Cooperative Startup Guides.

To receive updates from the CFL Cooperative Development Program, sign up for our newsletter.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Immigrant and low-income workers who want to create new pathways to economic stability and opportunities for leadership

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program at 718.633.4823, coopdevelopment@sco.org.

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

The Storeys’ Extended Family

Family Care

“We do this for the love in our hearts for them. We’ve seen how much progress they’ve made with care and love." Learn More

We help

2,500

people with special needs develop skills to reach their full potential

4 out of 5

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