Life Experience and Faith Sharing Associates: Serving the Community for over 30 Years

A ministry that began with the compassion of two women has grown to touch the lives of thousands.

In 1985-1986, LEFSA co-founders Sr. Dorothy Gallant, SC and Sr. Teresa Skehan, RSM experienced the conditions of a large city shelter. They knew there must be another way to help people experience their dignity and worth.

As Sr. Dorothy said, “The shelters offer food, some clothing, and a bed. People also need to heal themselves on the inside.” Life Experience and Faith Sharing Associates was created to respond to this need.

Over the years, LEFSA and its ministries have grown, building a community—and a family—of homeless and formerly homeless individuals. LEFSA serves through faith-based gatherings, weekly street ministry, resources and referrals, and much more. These ministries are interdenominational and offer a safe haven for all who participate.

The empowerment, growth, hope, faith, and love that characterize LEFSA are made possible through the grace of God, the work of many dedicated people, and the prayers and support of our friends. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has joined us on this journey.

Thank you for being a friend to LEFSA!

What's Your Story?

Read what LEFSA participants, team members, and volunteers have to say.

Cameron - Feeling at home
I got involved with LEFSA though my sister, Althea, about 6 years ago. I attended the LEFSA picnic and was amazed by how many people were there—by the food, camaraderie and the whole good feeling you got. When you were in line, people talking to you made you feel at home. That was before I knew about the Leadership Study Day or Men’s Group. All the people who come ...
Read more


Johnnie - A beautiful and warm feeling
I was in a shelter at Ward Island and one week I was told about a gathering, where they give us food and talk to us. At the time, my mom had cervical cancer. She was my partner and confidant. When I met James, he touched me, because before saying hi to him I said, “my mom is dying.” The way he grabbed me, it was a beautiful and warm feeling. I started coming to groups ...
Read more


James A - Getting life back
LEFSA gave me my life back. It didn’t just give me my life back, it gave me my family’s life back too. Because when I got better, my family got better also. And not only did my family get better, but my community got a little better.

I dedicate my life to helping others who are caught up in this vicious cycle of poverty and of drug addiction and abuse ...
Read more

James, LEFSA Operations Manager

Lucy - Food for the soul
In the beginning, being homeless was depressing. I was angry, ashamed, and upset for being in that predicament. I had no relationship with God. One day, I came in early from work and went to the Rec Room and walked in on a Life Sharing Community Gathering.

The gathering was on love, and it got me thinking about God’s love for me. I decided I would let these gatherings be my connection back to God ...
Read more

Lucy, LEFSA Housing Advocate

Althea - Reconnected Through LEFSA
I became affiliated with LEFSA in 2011 when I was living in Lenox Hill Women’s Shelter on Park Avenue.

I always believed in God and that all people are children of God. Every week I looked forward to LEFSA coming to the shelter. It was my dose of reality ...
Read more

Althea Craig-Morelli

James B - It's a blessing
It’s been our blessing to provide this service. So many people have said to us, ‘we thought you were not coming out today, but it’s a blessing you are here for us.’ And we are there, every Monday, whether it’s cold or warm outside"...
Read more

James Butler

Iris - Living is giving
If you can envision two white nuns, neatly dressed with religious pins on the fronts of their blouses, wearing sneakers, and pulling shopping carts through the streets of Harlem, those were Sr. Dorothy Gallant and Sr. Teresa Skehan. They began to give of their time, and were devoted for over fifty years in doing the Lord’s work. It was at “Harlem Two” ...
Read more

Iris Sankey-Lewis

Brittany - Inspirational and life changing
Thank you to all of the members of LEFSA for welcoming us into your phenomenal community. Each and every one of you are inspiring, and what you do is extraordinary. In the short time we were there, we were able to learn so much, and it truly opened my eyes that I need to spend more time involved in the community.

LEFSA is a place everyone should experience ...
Read more

Brittany Robert

Amoy Chung - Encouraging and uplifting each other
I honestly feel selfish for enjoying LEFSA the way I have. It was a very humbling experience that I will definitely cherish. At LEFSA, I feel at home. I always feel a sense of calm and serenity once the meetings start. I absolutely love how every attendee and visitor becomes a member of the ever loving and growing family known as LEFSA.

As a nursing student, especially in the accelerated program ...
Read more

Amoy Chung

John Wesley - Little Miracles
When asked to write about Life Experience and Faith Sharing Associates (LEFSA) I came up with a title for the essay. I call it “Little Miracles.” Read on, hopefully you’ll agree.

A couple of weeks after I moved out of the shelter and into my apartment, I was confined to a wheelchair. One night while coming home, a lady smiled at me and said: “you need LEFSA.” Somehow she knew ...
Read more

John Wesley Mitchell

Donna - Drawn to the positivity
I’d been at Franklin Women’s Shelter and was feeling depressed and down. I was sitting in the corner and didn’t have a sense of direction or know which way to go. I had been working in home care, and my last client was a live-in situation, but after that client passed I couldn’t stay there and had to stay in a shelter. I didn’t know what to expect. All that I knew was...
Read more


Timothy - They’ve seen their father become someone
You will know my disciples, because they show love for one another. When you come to this community, that is what you are going to get. It takes time to work on people, but it works. It worked on me. My children think LEFSA is the greatest thing on earth. They love it as much as I do, because they’ve seen their father become someone, and when someone mentions their father’s name people don’t cringe anymore ...
Read more


Remembering Our Founders

“In LEFSA’s ministry, I have experienced many miracles. I have seen ‘God make a way out of no way’ in people’s lives… I am continually inspired, humbled, challenged, and enriched by the resiliency and deep faith of the women, men, and children I share life with. Journeying with people through homelessness has been a tremendous blessing in my life.”

Sister Dorothy Gallant, SC, LEFSA Co-Founder

“My favorite memory with LEFSA is remembering the words of Sister Dorothy and the love of Christ she showed me and others. She made everyone feel like they have value in their life.”
– Jo Anna

“In so many ways I can reflect on the past and see Sr. Dorothy and Sr. Teresa! May they rest in peace.”
– John

This photo shows Sisters Dorothy Gallant, SC and Teresa Skehan, RSM on their way to the shelter where the very first Life and Faith Sharing Gatherings were initiated. They went equipped with a lot of love, faith, coffee, and Bibles.

Find out more.

Learn more about joining with LEFSA as a volunteer or a participant.

Life Experience and Faith Sharing Associates
1991A Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10035
Telephone: 212-987-0959

Share your story.

How has LEFSA changed your life? What would you like everyone to know about LEFSA?

Make a difference.

Make an offering to support LEFSA’s work and ministry!


Give Now!