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.

Ross’ Story

Ross, a former student at SCO’s Westbrook Preparatory School, is a motivated and engaging young man who has Asperger syndrome. “I’m actually different from many people with Asperger’s in that I’m a very social guy,” says Ross. “On the other hand, sometimes I am unaware of other people’s feelings. I can be impulsive, and I do get overwhelmed. ”

Ross had difficulty adapting at his previous public school due to these challenges. However, Westbrook’s residential school setting gave Ross the opportunity to work on his social skills and develop strategies to help him avoid feeling overwhelmed.

One key element of life at Westbrook is the internship program. While students find comfort and build confidence living and learning with other teens who have similar challenges, they know that they need to prepare themselves to communicate and work well with all kinds of people. Ross’s first internship was at Sports Authority, and he held another at St. Brigid’s Elementary School Camp where he found talking with children about sports very rewarding.

His interest in sports led Ross to his next internship at WCWP 88.1 FM, the college radio station at CW Post. He ran the audio control sound board at sporting events, made guest appearances on a college sports talk show and researched sports information for use on air. He enjoyed his experience so much that he decided to study communications in college.

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Women’s Shelters

SCO’s Madonna Heights provides emergency housing for women who are experiencing homelessness, some with children. The primary goal of the Madonna Heights’ shelters is to help women and their families stabilize their lives by providing them with temporary emergency housing and support services in a safe, supervised environment. Locations are throughout Suffolk County, Long Island. The program also meets needs for clothing, access to medical care, limited transportation, case management services and assistance in locating permanent housing. Parenting Skills Training is also provided.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Single women and women with children who are experiencing homelessness

How to Access this Program or Service

Suffolk County Department of Social Services makes all referrals to the shelter

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

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

Ross’ Story

Westbrook Preparatory School

“I’m actually different from many people with Asperger’s in that I’m a very social guy” Learn More

We help

1,300

children and young adults through foster care programs

We help

1,700

children get ready for kindergarten

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