Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Archive for December, 2013|Monthly archive page

Turning Point

In Keeping hope alive, Stories, secrets & dreams on December 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm

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The gust of cold wind greeted Negus Ruba as he stepped outside the Farmer’s Mission Church. He buttoned up his tweed coat and flung his hood over his head. The old tenement buildings of the Lower East Side lined the sky on the right. On the left, the ritzier, glittery lofts of SoHo slung the sunshine for a minute, blinding him.

Ruba took a few more hurried steps north. Up ahead, the Empire State Building jutted into the skyline a giant syringe. For some reason, Ruba felt different this morning – he felt strongly about something he could not pinpoint. But one thing for sure, he felt as if the day had greater things in store for him, although he could not understand or even explain this feeling of optimism.

Often, he would be depressed. He loathed his life, his homelessness, and the stench of the bodies of the homeless men who came to the Mission every evening to be fed and to sleep.

Ruba slowed down and stopped at the next traffic light. He waited impatiently while the early morning traffic filtered through the golden light. The sun cast blood-red rays east of Houston Street. The entire sky glowed red and animated by the glorious rising of the sun. For a split second Ruba felt its warmth.

He sauntered across the street as soon as the “walk man” signal came on. He hunched his shoulders against the freezing wind, taking meausred steps across the wide thoroughfare. Half a block away, a dog walker came around the corner. Ruba felt his body getting tense. He avoided the dog and its walker by slinking a few feet away on the opposite side of the pavement.

Almost instinctively, the dog – a pit bull – started barking at him uncontrollably. He knew from the dog’s barking that it was vicious. Dogs and homeless people are never friendly.

He strode on, feeling relieved to walk past the dog. His feeling of optimism suddenly hit him again. Today will be a turning point, he thought.

By King Molapo

Nicholas’ Story

In Soup Kitchen Stories on December 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm

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Nicholas first came to the soup kitchen in August. He was in a dark place and came here to get back onto the right track. “I owned my own restaurant. We had a fire, and I went through a state of depression. A friend recommended that I get out and get back around food and help people by volunteering at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen,” Nicholas says.

He listened to his friend, and for the past several months, he’s been volunteering here two days a week as a runner, “replenishing the food and making sure the service line is moving along.”

Volunteering has made a world of a difference for him. “Coming here has opened up another part of my life. It hit me in my heart directly. It’s a pleasure to see how people light up so easily just with a simple meal. It just makes me grateful for what I have, and it’s a humbling experience,” says Nicholas.

“Volunteering here made me realize that I have it a lot better than many,” Nicholas shares. “If you’re able to have a checking account and write a check, your money could be stretched out a lot more than a pair of new sneakers. Your money can go a long way here.”

Coming from a restaurant background, Nicholas is especially impressed by the quality of the food we serve and by the work our chefs do preparing nutritious and delicious meals at a reasonable cost. “I was amazed at how organized and how efficient everything is running. The line is serving 1,000-1,200 people within two hours, which is a big feat. To have everything supplied and ready to be able to replenish and serve so many people in such a short period of time, it’s amazing,” Nicholas says, smiling.

Nicholas is hoping that his new restaurant will open soon but he plans to continue to volunteer here even once his business is back up and running. “I made a promise to myself that I will definitely donate at least one day a week here. Everyone should come down to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and just volunteer one day, whether it’s once a week, once a month, once a year, or once in a life time.”

Christmas Time

In holidays, Prose on December 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm

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When I was a child I would be glad when Christmas time comes around to get toys and having family and friends around, it would be a real celebration. Now that I am grown I only have friends, some friends to celebrate the time with.

It’s also a time for me to reflect on the good things that has crossed my path during the year and be thankful. The Lord has been very kind to me and I thank him for that, and I also thank him for giving me the courage to shake the hand of those I have problems with… try to be civil this time of year… try to enjoy the holidays. So from my lonely home, the park bench at somewhere unknown… and to all of you… I wish you a happy and Holy Christmas and all that’s best for the New Year…

By George Cousins

David’s Story

In Guest stories, Soup Kitchen Stories on December 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Davids story
David worked as a truck driver in Miami for several years, before the job market turned south and he found himself out of work. He moved to New York City just a couple of months ago, looking for work opportunities.

Currently homeless and in the shelter system, David says, “I’ve been going through some hardship but there is hope. The job market here is a lot better than it is in Miami.”

David found out about Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen a month ago. “The meals here are very healthy, they’re very well rounded,” David says. “And the music that’s provided by volunteers, it makes me feel that I’m not homeless.”

Adjusting to the shelter system has been tough for David but he’s keeping a positive attitude. “I didn’t expect all of this support. There’s a lovely community at Holy Apostles. There’s always somewhere to go, someone to talk to, someone to offer you all the support you need. It’s been an experience that I would have never imagined.”

David has used a variety of our services, including blood pressure checks, access to phones, counseling, and haircut vouchers. But most importantly, he appreciates Holy Apostles because of “the humanity that’s shown here, the solidarity… it gives me the sense I’m not alone.”

David is optimistic that a job offer will come through soon but until then he plans to continue to come here for help.

“I’m so grateful for the tolerance Holy Apostles has shown me through this transition. I’m grateful for all the people that care.”

Ode to Winter My Friend

In Poetry on December 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

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Ode to winter my friend, brutal and cold from start to end.
Its subzero temperatures make me gleeful and happy with delight,
The coats, the gloves, the scarf, the boots, the snow,
All mixed together with deep-freezing temperatures, oh,
Gee whiz! I say with delight,
More, more, keep it coming, I don’t like to sweat, very uncool-
Not a problem with winter. Loved it as a child, worship it as an adult,
It is one of my favorites, so here’s “Ode to Winter My Friend,”
Bitter cold to the very end. So, up in the air, I see statues, I see spring,
But winter is my thing.

By Jay Stafford Perry