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.

Click here for IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATES from SCO

← Back

Residential Living for Youth in Foster Care

SCO’s group residential homes are small, six-bed, home-like environments that are grouped by needs of our youth. Our homes in Brooklyn and Queens provide a supportive home environment for youth in foster care who have multiple challenges. We provide a safe, structured living environment as well as case work management support, clinical services, and an array of other supports with a goal of reunification with family, placement in another family setting, or independent living with or without additional supportive services.

For youth in foster care with emotional and behavioral problems as well as a developmental disability, we offer a structured, therapeutic environment. We provide ongoing care and intensive independent living preparation with a goal of reunification with family, placement in another family setting, or transition to an adult supportive environment.

We offer the only residential programs in New York City for young people in care who identify as LGBTQ, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning. Our programs provide 24-hour care in a uniquely affirming and healing environment. We operate small home-like settings in Brooklyn and Queens that provide a safe, supportive and nurturing space for these youth as they strive for self-awareness and community, family and school acceptance

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Adolescents and young adults in foster care with multiple challenges who need 24/7 supervision

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Ages 16-21; in foster care; multiple prior failed placements; some homes designated for LGBTQ youth; some for youth with extraordinary needs and/or developmental disabilities

How to Access this Program or Service

NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) foster care services

This program is associated with...

Foster Care

For over 50 years, SCO's Foster Care practice has been helping children and their families grow, heal and thrive. We find safe, temporary families for children and teens throughout New York City and Long Island. Read More

A Vibrant Brownsville

Brownsville, Brooklyn is a vibrant, evolving, and unique neighborhood; and SCO is proud of our partnership with the community for over three decades.  Read More

Success Stories

Shana’s Story

Family First

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

Nicholas

Support for individuals with special needs

“The confidence Nick has grown in the short time he’s been at the group home is amazing." Learn More

87%

of young adults in foster care (18+) are enrolled in school or working

Last year, we placed

1,470

youth in employment, subsidized employment or internships

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to the SCO Newsletter to hear the latest on SCO’s programs, people, and happenings.