Selena’s Story

Selena first came to SCO’s Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program, in August 2017. This program provides housing and transitional services for young adults who have been in foster care and are at-risk of homelessness. Selena, who had been in foster care since age 9, was dealing with a lot of family and personal issues. She was feeling frustrated and depressed. The tipping point came when her biological father passed away.

As a way to help cope with her loss, Selena decided to write a book about her experience. She hoped sharing her experience might inspire others…turning her personal tragedy into something positive. Ever resourceful, Selena wrote her entire book on her cell phone and uploaded it onto Amazon where it is currently sold as a Kindle format e-book.

Selena’s entrepreneurial spirit had been unleashed. Following her book, Selena developed her own podcast where she talks about life issues and how she has dealt with them in the hopes of motivating others. Since establishing her podcast last year, she has attracted over 20,000 followers worldwide.

She didn’t stop there. Selena then decided that she wanted to sell merchandise with inspirational messages. She started her own online t-shirt company – printing, packaging and shipping orders out of her apartment.

Selena has found her calling. She has found healing through sharing her story and inspiring others and she has experienced personal growth in the process.

SCO staff are encouraging her to utilize her abilities and resilience to pursue her education. In doing so, Selena will be able to use her knowledge to promote and expand her budding enterprises and find other employment opportunities to help her as she transitions to independent living.

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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Juvenile Justice Initiative – Queens

The Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI) works intensively with youth adjudicated as juvenile delinquents and their families in their homes to ensure youth remain at home, attend school, and participate in pro-social behaviors.  JJI therapists are trained in evidence-based Multi-Systemic Therapy, and are supported by the MST Institute through training and consultation by highly trained experts. This program helps our youth to find suitable educational, pro-social and after-school activities that are proven to help offenders focus on positive life choices, which in turn prevents delinquent behavior.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Youth adjudicated as juvenile delinquents and their families to prevent out-of-home placement

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Age 12-17.5

How to Access this Program or Service

Referred through NYC Family Courts and Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) JJI program; or NYC Department of Probation; or ACS DYFJ

Success Stories

Selena’s Story

Creating Opportunities

Selena has found her calling. She has found healing through sharing her story and inspiring others and she has experienced personal growth in the process. Learn More

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

Last year, we helped

418

adults become employed heads of households

96%

of 12th graders in SCO's Family Foster Care program graduated high school, with 65% enrolled in post-secondary education

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