A native New Yorker, Norman first came to the soup kitchen eleven years ago when his life spiraled out of control after his mother’s death. Alone and unable to deal with his grief, Norman turned to drugs and alcohol and eventually ended up living on the street, spending nights in Penn Station and Port Authority.
It was during one of these nights that someone told him about Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.
“This guy told me about this soup kitchen where I could get help,” says Norman. “He asked what my mother would think if she saw me living the way I was and something just clicked.”
Norman knew he would receive a hot meal but he was surprised by how much more was on offer. “I expected a soup kitchen, but it was more than that. This is a package deal, they help with food stamps, assistance, and toiletries. It made me want to come back for more,” Norman recalls. “Holy Apostles has been a stepping stone for me to move on.”
Over the years, Norman has moved on – to sobriety, employment and a stable living situation. “Today, I live in a studio on the Lower East Side and I pay my own bills,” Norman says proudly. “This place helped to do that, they helped me to get off the streets.”
Life in New York City is expensive and Norman regularly comes to the soup kitchen for meals to help manage his budget and also to be part of the community here. He’s inspired to watch others go through the same transition he has been through himself – from life on the streets to a life of meaning and hope.
He smiles broadly when he talks about how it feels for him to be part of the Holy Apostles family. “In New York City not many doors are open but this one is always open. Lives are changed here. When you fall, they pick you back up. There’s love here, there’s hope.”