New York, NY
Founded in 1986 by Sister Dorothy Gallant, SC, and Sister Teresa Skehan, RSM, LEFSA is a unique city-wide program that creates faith communities with homeless persons in shelters, drop-in centers, a drug rehabilitation program and an HIV/AIDS residence. It fills a critical void for those in the city’s shelter system who are offered a cot and perhaps a meal, without the spiritual support necessary for climbing out of severe poverty.
The heart of LEFSA is its program of faith-based community gatherings, which serve hundreds in shelters and other settings each week. The gatherings allow participants to share their experiences of God, inspiring and lifting one another up. Many of LEFSA’s Team Members who lead the gatherings were once homeless themselves, and have profound compassion and understanding. They also model a way out of poverty and homelessness for participants, showing them that with God’s help, miracles are indeed possible.
LEFSA also offers practical resources including referrals for services in housing, education, employment, drug rehabilitation and health care. A Weekly Street Ministry brings food and compassion to those living on the streets, who are truly on the outside and in dire need of support.
All who are served by LEFSA know they are not abandoned. They see that God is with them, and that the LEFSA community is with them, as they strive to join the hundreds who have moved out of homelessness with LEFSA’s support.
Conversations with James Addison, LEFSA Team Member