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.  The demeanor I was carrying myself with needed adjusting.  It brought me a level of comfort that I wasn’t the only one going through things.  I could speak my mind so that others could relate.  To this day I come for the same reason.  It is awesome.”

 —Johnnie

Related Stories

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

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

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 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

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

Cameron

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

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, 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

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

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

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

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