30 Nov

Jonathan’s Story

Jonathan's Story

With his neat tie and bright smile, Jonathan is a cheerful presence in The Sharing Place – LSA’s community thrift store.  He has been volunteering in the store this fall to meet his community service requirement as a sophomore at Cristo Rey High School.  And he likes the work.  “I like helping clients find what they want because they thank you, and that’s a good feeling,” he says.

Though he started volunteering this fall, he’s not new to LSA.  In fact, as a graduate of LSA’s nursing and early childhood programs, Jonathan has been a part of the LSA family since his birth!

Jonathan’s mother, Alva, first came to LSA for nursing care when she was pregnant with Jonathan.  Our nurses helped ensure that she remained healthy throughout her pregnancy and after Jonathan was born.  Alva enrolled Jonathan in our early childhood parenting program and was actively involved in LSA’s parent groups.  With the help of LSA, Alva took ESL and GED classes.  Eventually, she even started working with LSA to provide childcare for children while parents attended special workshops.

Although it was a long time ago, Jonathan still remembers coming to LSA with his mom. “I used to come hang out with my friends,” he says.  “I feel comfortable around here because everyone knows me, and I can just be myself.”

Today, Jonathan is a successful student.  He likes math and wants to pursue a career in technology.  We are proud to have a graduate of our programs giving back to the LSA community and wish Jonathan a world of success!

Join us in helping more families like Jonathan’s!

Jonathan bringing out clothing to stock on the shelves of The Sharing Place.

Jonathan bringing out clothing to stock on the racks of The Sharing Place.




Photo by Micah Rubin.

30 Nov

Elizabeth’s Story

Elizabeth's Story

For most of us, home is a place of warmth and comfort.  But for Elizabeth Gonzalez and her three children, home is a dangerous.

“Cockroaches scurry across the walls and floor. Elizabeth has tried to get rid of them, but they keep coming back—through the electric outlets and from under the sink, where leaking pipes create a black sludge. Her floor is wet, her walls damp and moldy. Garbage bags stacked in the living room keep the family’s possessions dry. Despite multiple complaints, no work has been done to make things better.”

That is how a National Geographic reporter described Elizabeth’s apartment in a recent article about Asthma in East Harlem.

Elizabeth and her three children all have asthma, made worse by asthma triggers in their home that she has not been able to control on her own – mold, moisture, and roaches.

“I’m happy to have a roof over my head, but this apartment is keeping us sick,” Elizabeth told reporters.

That’s where LSA came in.

LSA’s Environmental Health Services team helped remove some of the mold, loaned her an air filter, and showed her ways to improve the air quality in her apartment.  We also helped her work with her landlord to get much needed repairs.

With LSA’s help, Elizabeth’s family is on their way to having a safe and healthy home.

Join us in helping more families like Elizabeth’s!

Elizabeth wears a mask to clean mold

Elizabeth wears a protective mask to clean mold

A photo of the mold in Elizabeth's bathroom

A photo of the mold in Elizabeth’s bathroom