Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘homeless’

Ricky’s Story

In Guest stories, Soup Kitchen Stories, Uncategorized, Volunteer Stories, Who, where, how? on December 2, 2014 at 9:39 pm

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Ricky was homeless when he first came to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen for lunch as a guest.  “Drugs and drinking were taking a toll on me,” he says, ” I was doing that because I was homeless. I had no hope. Everything was gone. When you’re homeless you don’t care about nothing. I numbed the pain of being homeless and hurting inside.”

Through the years, Ricky has faced a lot of loss within his own family, including his own divorce during his mid twenties. Two of his nine sisters and one of his three brothers have died of HIV related physical and mental complications. Another brother is living with HIV.

“I should be dead,” Ricky says,” I was blessed not to have it because of my own high risk behaviors.”

Like many homeless people, Ricky got to know the streets of New York. He noticed the long line around Holy Apostles Church and learned about the soup kitchen by talking to other guests. As he began eating lunch here on a regular basis, Ricky  found acceptance and “a love that was shown by the staff who were walking around and talking to me. The food was good, and a healthy quality” he recalls, “I kept coming back for the food, the service and the good, smiling faces.”

Then, through the support services and counseling offered at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, Ricky received vouchers for clothing, toiletries, phone calls, and even referrals to other places for food and showers.

“I became strong. I was like a dead flower but the love, caring and concern here made me blossom and bloom. Hope started coming back.”

Because of the emotional and practical support he received at the soup kitchen, Ricky had the strength to seek out housing resources on his own through other outlets and find the substance abuse treatment services he needed to continue his road to recovery. In 2010, when his housing situation had stabilized and he was clean and sober he approached our volunteer coordinator to see what he could do to give back.

Today, not only is Ricky a volunteer at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, he has also completed  a Manhattan based  HIV peer counseling program.

“I believe my calling is to help. This is the lifestyle I came from. I have empathy. I want to be a teacher to the younger generation.”

 

 

 

 

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Show Your Love

In Keeping hope alive, Prose on November 26, 2014 at 6:13 pm

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Tonight I write this article inspired by a program I was watching on TV called “America’s Got Talent”. A young man told his story of how he and his sister were in foster care and were adopted – his adopted mom was there also. He sang a song on the show – it was so inspiring that I couldn’t help but write this through tears.

We live in a world of love, hurt, misunderstanding, kindness, etc. I understand that it’s important to listen with an open mind and sincerity. I saw a gentleman today I met some time ago, he told me of his dilemma. I listened. Now he has accomplished what he set out to do. It was rewarding to listen to him. Also, another person I met, he spoke of being homeless. And now, he has a job and a place of residency. I’m inspired by these stories. It’s through my faith that I can understand this.

If you allow your humanness and your love for your fellow man to flourish, the rewards are endless. I believe this with sincerity. I’m grateful for a wonderful mom whom I cherish today with love.

In other words, lend an ear to someone today, tomorrow, next year if possible. The inspiration gathered from this will go on forever and ever.

Fred D. Street

Song of Homeless Writers

In Poetry on February 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm

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Out of the long winter’s night
We have assembled to write,
So that the world might know
To home we must go.

So exchange, for a change,
Your money for a chance
To send us on our way in a verbal dance
To home we must go.

Always on the run,
Hallelujah, I’m a bum!
Got plenty of nothing but God’s only Son
To home we must go.

Everyone has a story to tell,
I think that we each tell it well.
Now, here is one you don’t already know:
To home we must go.

We, having no money,
Exchange stories that are funny.
But others are bad and will send you home mad.
To home we must go.

Pillars of the community have a tired old song:
“You must have done something wrong.”
But sell out that high, so our low you may buy:
To home we must go.

By Walter L. Schubert

Photo credit: AP/Mark Lennihan

Andrew’s Story

In Guest stories, Soup Kitchen Stories on February 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

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Andrew, 24, has been homeless since he was 3 years old. His grandmother, one of the only positive influences in his life, passed away when he was just 18 years old.

“When my grandmother died, I lost all hope,” Andrew says. “I came to New York City homeless, depressed, and not knowing where to turn. I’m so grateful that I found Holy Apostles.”

Andrew recently got out of 45 days in prison, and is ready to get back on his feet.

“It’s rough in jail, there’s a lot of fighting going on. It was a really bad experience but I was able to be a positive role model for other people,” Andrew says. “It helped me to put things in perspective. I’m ready to get my life back together.”

With our help, Andrew has been proactive about taking steps toward independence, and has remained hopeful about the future. “Holy Apostles helped me to get an ID card and Social Security card,” Andrew says, gratefully. “I’m not just a homeless guy on the street. I spend most of my time working to get back on my feet.”

Andrew has continued to come here over the years because he loves the community. “I really like it here. If Holy Apostles wasn’t here for me, I don’t know where I would go,” Andrew says.

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

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.”