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.

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CFL Community School at PS 503/506

Community School • After School • Summer Camp • Beacon

CFL has partnered with PS 503/506 to bring the Community School model to Sunset Park. As a Community School, PS 503/506 is a neighborhood hub where students receive high-quality academic instruction, families can access social services, and the community comes together to share resources and address their common challenges. Center for Family Life’s school-based programs use social group work methodology and purposeful activities to involve participants in group experiences that promote individual growth, support family life, and create a sense of community.

We offer a five-day-a-week School Age Child Care/After School Program for children in elementary school. All children in the program receive a daily snack, academic enrichment /homework assistance and weekly instruction in creative/visual arts, performing arts, literacy, and sports/games. Our after school programs are an essential resource for working families, engaging children in consistent group and community-building activities that promote social, physical, academic, artistic, and leadership development during out-of-school hours.

A six-week Summer Day Camp for children ages 5- 13 provides 3 days of onsite activities in visual and performing arts and literacy, as well as 2 days of educational, cultural, and recreational field trips. Special events include theme days and an all-camp final show for parents and the community.

Youth Leadership/Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program for youth ages 14 and older, offers volunteer work experiences, training, and academic and personal support, while providing a context in which teenagers and younger children can enjoy the mutual benefits of intergenerational relationships.  Our Parent Involvement Program offers family nights, special events, a sewing group, cultural outings, and volunteer support.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Families with children seeking after school, school-age child care and summer day camps, service learning and youth leadership activities, job-readiness and youth employment, indoor/outdoor Neighborhood Centers, and parent, family and community special events, as well as in-school partnerships with teachers and students at Sunset Park High School and MS 136/MS 821

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

After school and day camp: 5-13.  CIT: 14 and older

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program at 718.439.5986

Success Stories

Declan’s Forever Family

"Adopting Declan was life-changing. You felt the ground shift." Learn More

Shana’s Story

Morning Star residential recovery

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

Last year,

188

youth and adults with special needs participated in volunteer projects in their community

We shelter

5,500

youth, adults and children