Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Tenebrae

In Poetry on March 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Darkness all around in the cold tomb

Darkness where there used to be life

Darkness overtaking the light of the world.

What good is it to die for the sins of the world?

What good is it to try and save those who killed you?

What good is having a close friend who will sell you out for 30 pieces of silver?

What good is infallibility when you denied the savior of the world?

What good is telling the truth when you get killed for it?

What good is good at all?

Darkness, all alone, and abandoned by most of your friends

Darkness in the place where those who ignored your father end up.

Darkness, for another day or two

Sure, you’ll rise, but who’ll see it or believe it?

-Thomas Clarke

Advertisements

Volunteer Story: Rachel

In Volunteer Stories on March 7, 2018 at 9:39 pm

“I started the search for soup kitchens in the city after meeting James, a homeless teenager,” says Rachel, a Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen volunteer and dedicated Fast-A-Thoner.

“He was hungry most days, unable to find consistent food,” she recalls. After buying him food and helping him to get an ID so he could get into a shelter, she asked herself, “How could I help James on a greater level?”

Rachel knew the answer had to start with nutritious and reliable meals.

“He needed food,” she explains. “And I set on a mission to find a soup kitchen that provided daily meals.”

“The more people I spoke to, the more I realized how difficult it can be to find food,” she says, describing the irregular schedules offered elsewhere. “Holy Apostles operates FIVE days a week, serving approximately 1,000 meals per day!  The set up alone is something to marvel at. But what impresses me most is the true care that is given, and the gratitude that is received at Holy Apostles.”

A busy professional, Rachel volunteers whenever her schedule allows, often on holidays. By getting to know James, and getting to know Holy Apostles, she has become more motivated than ever to advocate for hungry and homeless New Yorkers.

I have participated in the Fast-A-Thon for two years now and plan to do so for years to come,” she explains. “It’s a great opportunity to spread awareness and motivate others to donate to this great cause.”

Each year on her Fast-A-Thon campaign page Rachel includes James in her story, and how she found Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen as a result of their connection. She has truly become an inspiration to others, helping them to understand the painful cost of food insecurity and homelessness.

“I have seen many elderly who have lost their housing due to rent increases,” she says. “I have seen older gay men who were abandoned by their families due to intolerance, and, of course, there is James, who became homeless at 18—with no one to offer guidance or support after he left foster care. Holy Apostles offers support and understanding to a population that is too often ignored.”

When Rachel looked for a food emergency program to help James, she didn’t imagine she would help find him so much more. “I have witnessed beautiful exchanges between patrons and volunteers,” she says. “Many know each other by name. Participants befriend one another. It is a true communal atmosphere where patrons receive sustenance for both soul and body.” 

William’s Story

In Soup Kitchen Stories, Uncategorized on December 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Homelessness can happen to anyone, something 71 year old soup kitchen guest William discovered this past summer.

“For the first time in my life, I’m homeless,” he said in September of 2017.“It’s been a month and a half since I lost my apartment.”

“I always worked, ever since I was 18 years old…until a couple of years ago,” he said. For most of his career, he was a shipping and receiving clerk. In his later years he worked in the mail room at a New York City homeless shelter.

Because of his work in the homeless shelter, William did know that he could find a meal at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. He wasn’t expecting his hope to be restored too though, when he first sat down with one of our social services counselors.  “She told me I was eligible for Medicare, housing and food stamps,” he said brightly. “And she even helped me complete the application on-line…I never knew about all those things.”

When he retired, William had accrued a small 401k plan, but sadly, he developed heart and lung problems that landed him in the hospital. He still needs regular monitoring, treatment and medication for these conditions. “The medical bills wiped out my 401k, so now I only get a little social security,” he explained.  “That’s why I lost my apartment.”

An only child and the last remaining member of his family alive, William packed up his belongings and put them in storage in a friend’s basement late this summer. A good friend of his told him he should stay at a shelter but, he says with determination, “I don’t want to go to there, not if I can help it.” So for now, the 71 year old sleeps on a park bench on the upper West Side.

“I don’t know how to be homeless,” he told me, “At my age, it’s not something I’m used to doing.”

The soup kitchen has quickly become a refuge from the harsh realities of street homelessness, and a place to figure out his next steps. “I get my mail here now, and I’m taking care of business. It’s a chance to take care of my health, and have a few peaceful moments.”

But, he says, he’s been longing for the comforts of the his old apartment, the home he knew for years where he would often host holiday celebrations with this friends.

“Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday,” William recalls. “I love to cook, and especially to cook for my friends. I’m used to having my own kitchen, and home cooked meals.”

To help us continue to serve guests like William, click here.