Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

David’s Story

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2018 at 3:27 pm

David's story

Homeless and unemployed for over eight months, soup kitchen guest David has been through a great deal recently. But his faith, along with support from the soup kitchen, have helped him stay hopeful and strong in the face of hardship. A trained graphic designer, David lost his job unexpectedly when his former business partner betrayed him, leaving him broke and unable to pay rent.

His financial troubles worsened the already chronic family conflict he lived with, and before he knew it, he found himself without a place to live. For a while he was able to stay with friends, moving from place to place while working a part-time custodial job. But when they could no longer host him he ended up on the streets. “I grew up in New York and heard stories about the shelter system, so I didn’t want to go to a shelter,” he recalls. “I would sleep on the subway, or the bus, anywhere I could find.”

In addition to the practical stresses of surviving on the street, David also struggled with the shame and cultural stigma attached to homelessness. During this time he still went to work reliably, but because he was unable to shower regularly and keep up with haircuts, his coworkers began to suspect he was homeless and gossiped about him.

“I was being harassed,” he says. “It was a bad situation.” Doing everything possible to keep his job, he worked late nights off the clock while managers turned a blind eye. Despite his efforts however, he was eventually let go. His future seemed bleak, but David, who is a Christian, had faith that God was looking out for him. “I knew that He would get me out,” he says. “I just wasn’t sure how.”

Help came one night in the form of an outreach worker who approached David in a train station and offered to help him enroll in a transitional program to find housing. But first he needed to have a statement from a social worker proving he was homeless. That’s how he first came to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

The social services team was “very positive and professional,” David says. The counselors helped him right away with a haircut voucher, “the first haircut I’d had in months.” They also gave him a list of other resources and services he could access nearby, and Metro Cards to travel to doctors’ appointments.

“The meals were so helpful,” he says, remembering the first few times he ate here. “I thought, these people really care. They’re not just serving anything. It’s a good, quality meal.”

David has a loyal companion in his fiancée of several years, who has stayed by his side even through his recent struggles. Today, he’s already in the second step in a transitional housing program and hopes to be placed in an apartment soon. He is determined to one day return to his art practice and go back into business again.

“I love and appreciate Holy Apostles for the goodness it does for people,” David says. “It helps us all in so many more ways than one.”

 

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