BY ALESSANDRA AURICCHIO
In my home over the past several months, I have listened to my Dad and his friend J.P. converse about a certain mission. J.P. would drop by our house for the usual: a piece of my Mom’s homemade cake and one of my Dad’s cappuccinos. The mission J.P. spoke about is Anthony House: A Home for Men Who Are Ready to Start a New Life. These men are seeking help, which is offered to them by Deacon Patrick Logsdon in a modest home in Roosevelt. It was J.P.’s six years of service there in the past and his recent return over this past Lenten season that sparked something in me to get involved in helping these men, and serving Deacon Pat and his dedication to make a difference.
Anthony House is a home for men who are serious about getting their life together. It is a clean and safe house which has a structured program that focuses on three goals: to assist one in finding full time employment, to help one save enough money to find housing near one’s job and to assist one in finding the self-help groups and community services that one will need when one is living on one’s own. The old neighborhood offers nothing but the same negative influences which originally contributed to their downward spiral. This six-to-eight week program is short but intense. There is a screening process to select the most likely candidates. The focus of Anthony House is to help one live independently, providing the first step and laying down a solid foundation for one to build upon.
Many volunteers have supported and put in much effort to help these men get back on their feet. Twenty-seven years ago Deacon Pat dedicated his life to serving others. In his ministries’ letter, during the Christmas season, he reflected on the importance of the mission: “In a world that can seduce us into craving everything under the sun and in a society that allows and encourages us to ‘celebrate our cravings’, our mission may seem like a voice crying in the wilderness … Instead of celebrating your cravings, face the deeper truth of your pain, your wounds and seek real healing.”
Over the years, J.P. and many others have assisted Deacon Pat in providing a safe environment including clothes, hot meals, a clean room and a plan for independence. In the Easter Appeal 2012, transcribed by J.P., “the men who make it to Anthony House have few choices available to them upon leaving prison.” The guidance provided by Anthony House begins with “securing current identification, helping fill out applications for work, saving monies earned and later securing a permanent residence.” During this period, they get a sense of community, sharing meals together, doing chores, helping each other with job searches and sharing experiences, all in a peaceful setting.
Deacon Pat describes how a new neighborhood can be a lonely place. J.P. and Anthony House volunteers have offered encouragement and have shown true interest in assisting each individual in Anthony House. One past resident got a phone call while visiting Anthony House and stated “I can’t talk now, I am at Anthony House. You know, the place that saved my life.” Deacon Pat believes that “no matter how bad our situation is or how dark it may be at present, the light is always shining and new life is there if we open ourselves with the heart of a child.”
Anthony House can only continue with the faith and love of so many thoughtful and generous people. My friends and I, and my sister and her friends at Garden City High School want to share in this mission. I am asking for any help you can give and I am grateful for any support. We all make mistakes and struggle. We can all make a difference in each other’s lives. Deacon Pat describes the world as “one that seems to constantly pull us into greater darkness, but many people have come together over the years to help keep the light burning at this small ministry in Roosevelt.”
I am asking you for any help with donations and support. These are a lifeline to Anthony’s House for their continued work with men in need and will be much appreciated. Monetary donations can be sent with a check to Anthony House, P. O. Box 340, Roosevelt, NY 11575.
They are also in need of the following items (new):
Twin bedding — pillows, sheets, pillow cases, comforters/blankets; towels – Bath, hand, washcloths, dish towels; toiletries — toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, Q-Tips, nail brushes, shampoo and conditioner; kitchen Items —paper goods, plastic plates, utensils, hot/cold cups, aluminum foil, food storage bags, napkins, paper towels, cereals: corn flakes, raisin bran and instant coffee. Personal Items — wallets (no fringe), “Timex” wristwatches ($20), scarves, hats, ear muffs, gloves, tube socks (white), crew socks (white).
These items can be dropped off at 391 Stewart Ave, Garden City, N.Y. 11530 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Any questions please email: email@example.com or call 516-739-7506.
ALESSANDRA AURICCHIO, an active parishioner at St. Joseph’s, Garden City, is a recent graduate of Garden City H.S. and will be a freshman at Trinity College in Hartford this fall.