In Uncategorized on October 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm
Julio and Lyzbeth have been coming to the soup kitchen for seven years. Julio, who once worked as an assistant clerk for twenty two years on Wall Street, still struggles with unemployment. The meals provided by Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen help supplement his limited income, which all goes to paying bills. A native New Yorker, he lives in Harlem with his partner Lyzbeth who was born in Venezuala. She moved here in 1998 and relies on her native Spanish language for most of her communication. Julio is happy to translate her description of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen: “Excellent. Everyone is courteous and devine.”
While she works “on and off”, she is limited to work environments which are predominantly Spanish Speaking.
Julio says,”It’s a spiritual place. I find peace here when I see all the people.”
In Soup Kitchen Stories, Uncategorized on October 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm
When Chris travels, say, to England, he checks in every day with Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen to let the staff know he’s doing fine. That’s because Chris counts the staff, volunteers and other guests at the soup kitchen as his closest friends. Not only has he been a regular guest here since 1987, but he began attending church here since he moved to New York from Boston in 1977. That was five years before the first meal was served.
Chris, who relies on disability insurance in order to make ends meet, says he began eating at the Soup Kitchen when food prices “just got too expensive.” While on any given day, you might find Chris in the middle of an animated discussion that reveals a keen intellect, Chris doesn’t want to talk about the tragic circumstances surrounding his disability. Since moving to New York in the 70’s however, he’s put his best foot forward, which includes staying in shape as a runner, and coming to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.
Chris has twin sons, Ritchie and Eddie, who are now 48 years old, and professors of Math and Physics at Cornell University. Chris talks fondly of visiting them on the way to the State Fair in Syracuse.
In Guest stories, Keeping hope alive on October 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm
“The volunteers inspire me,” says Leroy, who has been coming to the soup kitchen long enough to be inspired to become a volunteer himself. “I watched the volunteers for a whole year and they are always polite, very curious.”
And, recalling how he was able to get new clothes here when he came in soaking wet after a rainy day living on the streets, Leroy praises the counseling staff, “Rich – I call him Superman. Theres’ nothing he can’t do. And if he he can’t do it, he’ll point me in the right direction.” Leroy says, “And Lillian and Brooke, they’re great too.”
“They treat you the same no matter how you look. You can show up looking dirty, without a shower or clean clothes and they’ll treat you the same way as they do when you are clean. They treat you well no matter what. And they don’t discriminate. If you need clothes they’ll help you out. There’s nothing but love here and I wake up in the morning looking forward to coming here. It’s different than outside. ”
Leroy loves to learn too. He was a college student at TCI when financial circumstances forced him to stop out of school. But he still had student loans to pay off, only without a degree to get a decent paying job, and his financial situation continued to spiral downward. So Leroy’s planning on joining the next Writer’s Workshop this fall to keep his mind active. After stating that he’s poet, he recites this one:
“Afraid of the fear
from before which was done
It was I yet I cry
But still here.
Quiet was the meadows
Without winds to stream
Peaceless echoes from the angles…
Surrounding me in walls
made of shattered glass
Encaptured in freedom
but still here
Diamond mines crossed my path
From a thought or two
Priceless to nature
But yet still unable to grasp
As visions fade fast
I debate no more
On why I’m still here
Everything becomes clear
Because I”m still here.”
Today, Leroy is meeting with one of the volunteer trainers to discuss how he can give back as a volunteer next week.