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Dec 11 2013
It is very easy to see that the homeless population of New York City is on the rise. We see it every day in the area surrounding NYIT’s Manhattan campus. According to a recent report from the Coalition for the Homeless, NYC’s homeless population is at its highest rate since the 1930s, with a record being set this June of over 52,000 people, with 22,100 of them being children, seeking refuge in New York City’s municipal shelters. While we walk past many of the city’s homeless on our daily commute, rarely do we stop and really think about their circumstances. Charitable organizations like the Church of St. Paul the Apostle’s
soup kitchen provides a very important necessity to many of the city’s homeless, a hot meal. Not everyone who utilizes the soup kitchen is homeless, but they certainly are appreciative of the kindness. Students from Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE)
National Honor Society have been volunteering at the soup kitchen for the past 2 years. They do this as an ongoing community service event every semester and also as a way to annually take part in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week. On Tuesday, November 19th
a new group of volunteers went to the soup kitchen, which brought about brand new reactions to the day. XAE Treasurer Nusrat Lima describes her visit to the soup kitchen below.
“This was my first time ever going to a soup kitchen and I was excited despite the cold weather. I met two kind senior citizens while making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They have been volunteering in the soup kitchen for more than a decade. After all the sandwiches were packed by Sadia (XAE Secretary) and myself, we got ready to serve whoever came through St. Paul's door. I was stationed as a server for pasta and meatballs. I was really surprised to see a young girl who looked my age in the line for food. When I saw her enter the soup kitchen at first I thought she was a student from another college coming to help out, but to my surprise she was the one who needed the help. It was shocking to see someone so close to my age at a soup kitchen. It made me wonder what her circumstances were and if she was part of the growing number of homeless in the city. It made me feel sad for that brief moment. Honestly, even though it wasn’t easy, this was a great experience and I recommend everyone to go out and give a little of your time to helping out the less fortunate.”
Coalition for the Homeless. (2013) Figures for homelessness in New York City retrieved from http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/pages/basic-facts-about-homelessness-new-york-city