Kelly’s Story

Kelly lives on a quiet tree-lined street with her husband, two sons, and an energetic puppy named Molly. Life is pretty good these days. In her own words, she has a decent job, a home, a car, and a supportive family – all things she never thought possible before entering SCO’s Morning Star residential program for women recovering from substance use.

Since the age of 13, Kelly had been hooked on alcohol. For the next 10 years, she struggled with severe alcoholism, heroin addiction, and all the terrible symptoms that go along with that. She tried every which way to control her use but failed over and over again. Institutions, hospitals, and psychiatric facilities became a normal part of life. At the age of 23, Kelly realized she was running out of options. She had no place to live, was unemployable, and had no way to provide for herself or her 4-year-old son, Joseph. That’s when she found SCO.

Kelly was 35 days sober for the first time in her adult life when she entered SCO’s residential program. This would be the first of many pivotal firsts. While in program, she learned about accountability and structure. She was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and attended off site treatment programs. She felt supported and heard by the women and staff at Morning Star and thrived in this environment.

Little by little, Kelly rebuilt her life. With the help of vocational counselors, she returned to school, received her high school diploma, and took clerical courses. She was thrilled when Joseph came to live with her on campus, working with SCO’s coaches and childcare team to hone her parenting skills. And she addressed her past traumas head on with mental health counseling at SCO’s Family Services Clinic.

Kelly credits her time in Morning Star as life-changing. She has been gainfully employed since leaving the program in 2012 and now works for a successful law firm. She found her soulmate in Rob and was married in 2015, and expanded her family with another son, Aidan, a few years later. She likes to say she is a work in progress – and we know there are plenty of firsts still ahead for Kelly.

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Morning Star

Located on the campus of Madonna Heights in Dix Hills, Morning Star provides a safe, structured, sober environment for women in recovery from substance use. Tailored to the unique needs of women, including women with children, our residences help women take greater responsibility for themselves and move on to healthy, autonomous lives. The program offers an environment that teaches, strengthens and encourages women in the recovery process. View our Morning Star brochure»

Morning Star I provides women in recovery with a safe, supportive, home-like structure focused on helping them to develop a drug- and alcohol-free, self-supporting lifestyle.

Morning Star II allows mothers to live and bond with their preschool-aged children at the residence and work to strengthen parenting skills as they progress towards a full recovery.  While mothers are in treatment, trained staff care for their children; at all other times mothers are responsible for their children.

Our goal is to help residents develop a sense of independence and encourage them to build a sober support system to be utilized upon leaving Morning Star.

Clients are referred from a NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports licensed inpatient or outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Morning Star candidates must:
– Be at least 18 years old
– Meet admission criteria
– Be able to participate in the program

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Women ages 18 and older who are struggling with substance abuse addiction and need residential level care

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Morning Star I: women ages 18+
Morning Star II: pregnant and parenting women and their preschool aged child(ren). Minimum age of adult is 18

How to Access this Program or Service

Most applicants are referred by other OASAS provider such as detox, rehab, or outpatient. For Morning Star II, if woman has legal involvement (CPS, Family Drug Court, etc.), court has to agree to reunification for resident and child

This program is associated with...

Madonna Heights

Providing an environment that teaches, strengthens and encourages young and adult women to heal from trauma. Read More

Related News

Success Stories

Kelly’s Story

A life rebuilt, with the help of Morning Star

Kelly credits her time in Morning Star as life-changing. Learn More

Antoinette’s Story

"I couldn't imagine being where I am now without Morning Star."

"They helped me learn how to be myself, then how to be a mom." Learn More


of women in our residential recovery program remained substance free


of residents in our group homes for adults with developmental disabilities attended Day Habilitation and receive vocational services

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