Over the last 30 years, we have expanded our programs to respond to the changing needs of our guests. Today, our Social Services Center offers a range of additional supportive services central to achieving our ultimate goal, which is to empower our guests to move on to a more manageable and fulfilling way of life. On average, our team of dedicated volunteer and staff counselors meet with more than 3,000 guests each month.
Anyone waiting on line for a meal can stop by to see a counselor at the Social Services Center. Counselors help guests assess their needs and then link them with one or more of the dozens of social service agencies that may assist them – many of whom will have representatives here at the soup kitchen.
Some common requests include information and assistance with transitional and permanent housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, food stamps, legal aid, employment and health care. Small things can be a big help to our guests and we provide ID cards, haircut vouchers, clothing and toiletries, as well as allowing guests access to the phone and the ability to use the soup kitchen as a mailing address.
Just as important as all these practical benefits, the Social Services Center provides guests with a place where their concerns will be listened to with dignity and understanding.
“I didn’t know I could get retirement benefits. Caroline showed me that, and made the application for me. The money came through just as I was about to lose my apartment. If it wasn’t for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, I’d be on the streets now.” – José, former soup kitchen guest
“I didn’t want to go to a soup kitchen, but I had nowhere else to turn. It was nothing like I expected – everyone made me feel so welcome, like I was coming home. I had this feeling I hadn’t had in a long time. I felt at peace. I knew we were going to make it no matter what. ” – Susan, mother of five
“It’s a good thing for guests to have someone they can connect with, someone who listens and is there for them. Here, they are the primary focus.” – Robert, counselor