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Our Team

What we do at Holding Hands Ministries would not be possible without the work of many dedicated people as well as our volunteers and partners.  It takes a village to do what we do, and we love our village. 



Honorable Mentions-People who were essential in the Ministry

Alex Piccione 

Angel Medina

Lydia K Miles

Ramdial Sookai

Adolfo Orrellana 

Daisy Orellana


Jeannette Gonzalez



Hector Medina

Food Manager 

Founded in 2008 on the streets of Coney Island, our founder Joel Matos and his family began feeding people in need. Cooking every week from home and transporting this food to address the immediate needs of those who were homeless, chemical dependent and just hungry. On foldable table tops blocks from an addiction center and on what now stands as the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium, it all began. The people quickly began to com out and receive food, clothing, household goods and anything that could be purchased in bulk from local dollar store merchants. Some say it was the tasty traditional Spanish style food that brough the almost 200 people out while others say it was the fact those volunteering liked to hug. But one thing is sure it was the start of a wonderful adventure like no other. 


About The Founder


Having been among the city’s homeless population founder Joel Matos knows rejection. At the age of about 14 Joel and his mom Carmen Matos found themselves homeless and without any place to turn. Seeking refuge through the city’s homeless system Joel and his mom saw numerous injustices, food related injustices, refusal of basic services such as showers and sleeping in dangerous conditions, he was able to experience first-hand what it feels like to be homeless in New York. “This will forever motivate me to love others” says Joel as he bandages a homeless individual who entered the program.





The outreach quickly grew and in 2009 opened a program at a church called Coney Island Gospel located at 29 street and Neptune Ave. This church allowed the ministry use of its basement for a food program. The people migrated to the indoor food program and the program served until hurricane Sandy displaced the program. But the Ministry still served the public.

            Hurricane Sandy may have washed out all indoor activities but not outdoor activities. In partnership with then Bay Ridge Christian Center the CBO conducted outreaches serving 600 people with hot food per day. In coordination with the NYPD the CBO entered the housing developments of Coney Island to bring water and basic provisions to those in need.

            April of 2012 the CBO was adopted by Bay ridge Christian Center who became World Harvest Community center. From 2012-2019 an average of 300 people per week received provisions for a household total of 2100 family members being fed per month. 

Never having experienced a pandemic the Pantry was unprepared for what would happen in 2019. As the pandemic slowly rolled in the pantry saw numbers rise on a weekly basis. Week one it rose to 900 people and in several months saw numbers as high as 3500. The lines went far as the eye could see. The 3500 or more visitors represented a household peak total of 40,000 people served in May 2020. With the help of several partners the CBO was able to open 6 days per week to meet the demand. This demand included the purchase of a refrigerated truck to provide onsite pantry outreaches.


Noteworthy Accomplishments 


  • The purchase of a fully refrigerated truck.

  • The development of a shower program to the homeless in partnership with local churches.

  • The visitation of Family shelters such as Kensington family shelter on church Ave Brooklyn N.Y. We brought toys, dance entertainment, and hot food.

  • Book Bag giveaways. 

  • Christmas give aways. 



Holding Hands Ministries Logo and Name 


Throughout a person’s life come moments each of us need a hand. Our logo and name declare that all who come will receive that hand. 



Mission Statement


`We are individuals, families, and friends that have experienced an amazing love and exist to give that love to those in need while empowering them to live life abundantly.


Though love takes on many forms, our primary love language is acts of service. Whatever the need or situation may be, Holding Hands is committed to compassionately serving our community. Through partnerships, referrals, and inner agency development, we provide assistance to help those in need of shelter, food, spiritual development, employment, moral enrichment, and transitional services.







Hope- We Strive to arise hope in others through empathy charity, Compassion, Kindness and understanding. When you listen to those, you serve you foster friendliness trust and mutual respect.  

Faith- We are a faith based CBO that through our beliefs we inspire others and promote deep connections that will outlast life‘s temporary situations. We do not force any faith-based ideas, but we do not hide that our faith carries us.


Personal Development- inspiration will bring a person closer to the change needed in that life to develop stability. Through dedication to public service, we can be part of the influence in a person’s life and encourage the boldness through independence. 

Community- We truly believe it takes a community to be efficient in public service. Through collaboration with others, we can better serve our neighbors in excellence.  

Adaptability- Things constantly change and programs must evolve to meet the change. We must always be persistent in our conviction that to serving others means you must be willing to adapt to the need. 





To help as many people realize that through love one can get back up. We exist to see others succeed. 

Current Partners


  • City Harvest 

  • Food Bank Of New York 

  • United Way Of New York

  • HRA

  • WHCC

Our Volunteers

Our volunteers are the heart of our operation. They give of their time to prepare meal kits, to make home deliveries, to enter data, to manage the line, and to smile at all our visitors. 

The Boards


Joel Matos



Linda Obeda 




Paul Ramos



Lydia K. Miles 


Hector Medina 


Accountability Board

Min. Miguel Ruiz

Aramis Carreras 


our Partners

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