James Addison

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. And I know that there are other “Jameses” out there who really need help, and I can be an instrument of this help and of this hope and of God’s compassion and love. So, with that, I really thank the Sisters of Charity—if not for their work, I don’t know where I would be.

I am the Operations Manager at LEFSA. I also just became an ordained minister, and this couldn’t have been done without the help and support of this ministry.

James was also featured in an article by The New York Times. Click here to read the story!

Related Stories

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

Mario - Finding Faith Again
Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Mario and I’m a 54 year old Dominican raised in West Harlem. I met LEFSA while living in the Boulevard Men’s Shelter on Lexington Avenue. Let me say it’s a very dark place, where you’re living in constant fear that you might be the next victim. As for myself, I thought I was caught up in a nightmare ...
Read more

Mario Pimentel

Debbie - We are always here
I met LEFSA in 2004. I’d been staying at New Providence Women’s Shelter and was on my way to sign out, and I heard gospel songs, like my mom used to sing. Sr. Dorothy walked up to me and invited me in. The gathering gave me peace. I was hooked after that—she would invite me to the Women’s Group and Leadership Study Day. I completed EOP in 2005 ...
Read more

Debbie Canty

Lisa - Bringing out the love
I first starting coming to LEFSA’s women’s group in 2002 when a community member recommended me to the ministry. There I was introduced to Sr. Dorothy, who instantly made me feel really loved.

During the group everybody was talking about God, so I asked who God was and whether He was a person. Sr. Dorothy told me that God is love...

Read more

Lisa

Joan - Testimony to Ministry
I arrived at Lenox Hill Shelter for Women in the month of July 2008, feeling sickly and weak. Sorrow had taken the place of joy, because of my dire circumstances. At least one year and a half earlier I underwent a yearlong treatment for chemotherapy, then came the death of my beloved mother, followed by homelessness. Homeless was a word I’d never experienced ...
Read more

Joan B.

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

James, LEFSA Team Member

It was 2011 when I first entered LEFSA’s Men’s Spiritual Development Group. I happened to hear some men talking about it at St. Bart’s Soup Kitchen and decided to join them the following day. I did not know what to expect, but they told me that I could get a good meal and a metro card to travel around the city. I was living on the streets ...

Read more

 

James, LEFSA Team Member

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

Timothy

Janet - Support, encouragement and care
Several years ago, I arrived at Life Experience and Faith Sharing Associates, homeless and pregnant. Sr. Dorothy befriended me during that time when my life seemed to be falling apart. She encouraged me to get medical care and pregnancy counseling.

I began participating in the Life and Faith Sharing Community gatherings in the shelter and met other women who were struggling...
Read more

Janet

Jorjina - LEFSA as a Family
When I was at a very low point in my life, someone invited me to the LEFSA Women’s Group. Fortunately, I was not working that day, so I went.

Knowing that there were people that had very similar experiences to my own and actually talking about them in a safe environment changed how I felt about myself, my faith, my situation, and my goals. I thank God for LEFSA every day! ...

Read more

Jorjina

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

Johnnie

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

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