MAY NEWS 2018 Spoons, Tunes and Pan Handlers.

Spoons, Tunes + Pan Handlers.

We wish all a joyous Memorial Day Holiday and share in remembering that this Holiday commemorates the sacrifices of members of the armed forces lost in service to our country. Monday Night Hospitality along with all of the other Eastside churches offering meal programs will be serving this coming week, and both of our social workers will be present to help guests.

We recently received contributions of clothing and baby supplies as well as funds for Baby Ember - a little girl born to one of our guests living in a family shelter. Our social workers are helping her and advocating for an early placement in her own apartment. We are grateful for the help in making this child’s life a little bit easier. Knowing help is present also has to be helpful to her single parent mother who has her own health issues. Baby Ember is doing well.

John Sheehan and Irene Freedman are also involved in helping some of longest attending guests avoid eviction and respond to inappropriate medical bills from local hospitals. The New York Times this week has highlighted some of the nefarious practices used by landlords to get long standing tenants in rent stabilized apartments evicted. Fortunately, our social workers are familiar with the steps needed to successfully through such efforts. Neither of our social workers are averse to going to housing court and we are helping one guest "declutter" her apartment to avoid landlord harassment.

On a happier note, one must commend our Hospitality staff. Monday Night Hospitality is not only known for great meals but also greets guests with coffee/ tea and now with summer upon us with chilled lemonade. The menu is provided to guests and those that need an early admission (the disabled and elderly) are quickly accommodated. Many of our guests know the greeting staff by name. The Senior Minister of All Souls, Galen Guengerich, most weeks joins in serving our guests in the garden. He could use a hello along with the rest of the staff, that do so much to make our meal service truly a welcoming event.

Again, our best wishes for a great Holiday and for those service men and women visiting New York City during Fleet Week. They can always use a thank you for their service if you pass them walking on our streets. They have their best uniforms on and are to a one amazed at the size and diversity present in our great city.


With thanks to all,

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Panhandlers and Street People Asking for Money

This is perhaps the most difficult issue facing us as New York grapples with the largest homeless population in America. I believe that all people need to be recognized and acknowledged. I rarely give money to people on the street but have been known to break that rule myself. I do always answer anyone pleading for help.  There are two scanned “resource street sheets” showing where those in need can find a meal or get into a shelter. Not everyone will take these – they have to be receptive which is why I carry them. If you prefer to have original copies, stop by my or Irene’s office and we’ll be glad to provide them. The Monday Night Meal program is mentioned and I feel it one of the best meals for those in need in the city.

At a recent meeting with staff from the City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) one of their executives cited a figure of an average over 250 contacts per individual before DHS can successfully get the chronically homeless off the streets. And that is just into the shelters that many street people are avoiding.

There is just not enough public housing to help the 74,000 in shelters get into a place where they can start to restore their lives.  While calling 311 for every street person will just overload the system, whenever you are concerned about a person’s health or safety or children are present, one should start with 311.  If someone is injured or are in danger, then 911 should be contacted.  

In all cases, your personal safety must be your first consideration.  Be aware of your surroundings, the time of day and if in anyone you feel uncomfortable DO NOT engage in conversation with someone.  I cannot stress that point enough.  Mental health issues are frequent issues for the homeless – sometimes it involves what precipitated the homeless situation and other times just living on the streets introduces harmful mental illness issues.  We try not to attribute blame but rather to try to lift up the lives that come to us and offer solutions to at least some of their immediate needs.

While we cannot help everyone, we can offer assistance to all that come to us on Mondays and Fridays at All Souls as well as at 5th Ave Presbyterian.   We are committed to doing our best for as many guests as possible.  The monthly health screenings are also helping to reach out to those guests in most need.  The number of guests seeing the medical students and subsequently social workers grows each month.

Your presence on Mondays as a volunteer is heartening.  If only our whole city would do the same.

If you see someone who needs help, please download this useful Street Sheet courtesy of Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter.

John Sheehan, LMSW, Senior Social Worker Monday Night Hospitality

Elevator Replacement

Good News after the Bad News about our Elevators at All Souls

Our elevator is being replaced this summer (from July to the first week of September) and the new equipment will be much more reliable and easier for our guests and staff to use. We look forward to that day in September. In the meantime, we plan on printing announcements for the disabled, elderly and others that use the elevator. The Greeting & Hospitality staff that greet guests will be under pressure to provide additional to-go meals and a lot of love to those guests that won’t be able to get into the hall. It will be a great sadness for many of our elderly guests that depend on the elevator. The same issue will impact the Friday Soup Kitchen’s lunch meal. Our social workers will be available to the guests and we will try to explain why their lives will be disrupted. We ask all to have patience.




As part of our guest experience, we are working to share a musical performance at every MNH event and at other church meal programs on the Upper East Side including Friday Soup. Since the beginning of the year, we hosted several accomplished soloists and pianists, including talented Musica Viva performers. If you know of solo performers, music groups, or choirs that might be interested to perform, please contact us at:



Nifty in the Kitchen?

Our guests really appreciate having hot soup served as soon as they are seated and waiting for their meal. We make the soup in the All Souls kitchen each week - no canned soup for us! We need a few volunteers to join our Soup Squad. This is a great way to stay involved even if you can't come on Mondays. We'll show you how we make enough to serve all our guests, and provide all the ingredients. We're asking for a commitment of once per month. If you're interested or have questions, please contact Kathleen Taylor (

Matching Corporate Gift Programs – The Easy Way to Give to MNH

Monday Night Hospitality has its own 502c3 charity (Outreach Information Services, Inc.) that is recognized by the IRS and totally separate from all other organizations. All funds and grants go to paying for our Outreach and for our social workers (both on Monday night dinners and Friday lunch meals). Check to see if your firm has a matching gift program. Currently Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, AIG, Arch Insurance, Society Generale and USBank match donations from their employees. Check with your human resources department and we will be glad to provide our government documentation – we are also listed with the New York State Attorney General’s office. There are no paid staff members of Outreach Information Services, Inc. We are all volunteers like you.

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