To serve people experiencing homelessness or living in poverty by providing food assistance and services that promote health, community, and equity.
A world in which people come to us not because they have to but because they want to.
The basis of peaceful human interaction.
The most basic of human rights.
The resource that matters more than any other.
The best tool for the job.
The lever that moves both us and the people we serve.
In the 1980s, residents of New Haven began seeing something on the streets of our city that they hadn’t seen since the Great Depression: widespread homelessness. A myriad of factors created a perfect storm across urban America. Economic downturn, the crack epidemic, de-funding of federal social safety programs, the closing of state mental health facilities, and Veterans returning from an unpopular war without the government support they needed — all this led to a dramatic and unprecedented rise in homelessness.
In New Haven, the community responded. Several religious organizations collaborated to meet the need by opening shelters and founding soup kitchens. Among these was DESK. For over 30 years, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen has provided dinner to people in need, right in the heart of our city.
DESK is committed to being an ecologically sustainable organization by switching to more energy efficient kitchen equipment, using only reusable dishes and dining utensils, and composting our organic food waste. But going green takes green! For a small, grassroots social service organization, it's tough to free up funds to be as environmentally responsible as we know we need to be. Help us out by raising some much-needed funds to support these efforts!