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Photo Caption: HeartShare St. Vincent’s Bensonhurst Family Services, helping families in crisis, hosted an Open House at its new 8718 Bay Parkway location, 7th Floor, on Thursday, October 20.
HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services (HSVS) Bensonhurst Family Services has moved from 138 Bay 20th Street to 8717 Bay Parkway, 7th Floor.
Bensonhurst Family Services has served the Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge communities by stabilizing families and preventing children from being placed outside their homes for the past 24 years.
When HSVS receives referrals from NYC Administration from Children’s Services, as well as other agencies and schools, the organization hopes to remedy the situation and provide resources that keep the family together. HSVS Preventive Services are free to eligible families.
“Our team utilizes strategies to keep children in the home by providing supportive services,” said Sherry Brumel, LCSW-R, who is Senior Director of Preventive Services and has been with the Bensonhurst program since it opened its doors 24 years ago. Brumel started as a Case Planner, then was promoted to Case Supervisor. She’s been a Program Director since 2014, when HeartShare affiliated with the former St. Vincent’s Services.
The Bensonhurst Family Service Center serves nearly 100 families and is staffed by eight case planners, a case supervisor and office manager. Services include individual, family and group counseling, creative art therapies, as well as trainings in parenting skills. Program participants also are connected to needed resources, including information on SNAP, housing subsidies and employment opportunities.
“The Center has been a crucial resource to undocumented families, who don’t have access to any other resources. We have three bilingual case planners, who can work well with a large Central American community from Guatemala and Ecuador,” said Brumel. The Center also sees many families who are impacted by escalating domestic violence.
The new building at 8718 Bay Parkway is still under construction. In the meantime, the Bensonhurst staff is making home visits to ensure there’s no disruption in services. HSVS tentatively will be taking clients at that location in November.
HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services kept over 600 families together last year. HSVS also has Family Service Centers in Coney Island and East Brooklyn. Its Special Medical Preventive Services helps parent learn how to care for very vulnerable children with multiple disabilities or mental health conditions.
For more information, visit www.hsvsnyc.org.