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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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

John Brown

"SCO has a direct impact on your neighbors." 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

82%

of students at our residential school for youth with high-functioning autism are actively involved in weekly internships in the community

We help

2,000

children get ready for kindergarten