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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Jerome Hardeman Early Childhood Center

The Jerome Hardeman Early Childhood Center offers a year-round, full day academic program in a safe and engaging environment for children ages 2.9 months to 5 years of age, including UPK. Literacy and math activities help children gain the skills for future school success. A wide array of physical activities and outdoor play help children develop strength, balance and motor skills. Art, music and drama round out the day. All children receive healthy and nutritious meals each day – breakfast, lunch and snack.

Our programs support English, dual-language learners, and children with IEPs. Families are engaged to become active partners in supporting their child’s language development.

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

East Brooklyn Community High School Students Reflect on Graduation Day

"They're your backbone, they help you and support you no matter what you do in life." Learn More

Last year, we placed

2,007

youth in employment, subsidized employment or internships

We inspire

8,200

children and teens through academic, after-school, summer and work readiness programs