DESK raises over $175,000 at its annual Breaking Bread Dinner presented by Yale Hospitality

by | Apr 18, 2023 | Drop-in Center, Events

DESK raises over $175,000 at its annual Breaking Bread Dinner presented by Yale Hospitality

New Haven, Conn., April 18, 2023 – Last month, Yale Hospitality hosted the annual Breaking Bread Dinner to support Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK). Held on March 17, 2023, more than 175 Guests were in attendance, including state and local elected officials; two mayoral candidates; heads of various Yale divisions (Yale Hospitality, Yale Ventures, Schwarzman Center, the Office of New Haven Affairs, etc.); Yale New Haven Health  representation from the top (including their CEO and chief of internal medicine) to frontline ER personnel; local business leaders (Chabaso, Tzedakah House, Svigals, Morgan Stanley New Haven, etc.); representatives from partnering agencies (Liberty, New Reach, Christian Community Action, Fair Haven Health, Cornell Scott Hill Health, etc.); and DESK volunteers, staff, interns, clients, and Board members.

The ticket sales, sponsorships, and donations raised over $75,000 in support of the renovations to DESK’s Drop-in & Resource Center at 266 State Street.  In addition, Yale’s Director of New Haven Affairs, Lauren Zucker, announced the university’s generous contribution of $100,000 to the campaign.

The $175,000 raised at Breaking Bread will go toward DESK’s $3.5 million renovation of its 266 State Street location, which will begin in May. As part of the renovation, a new, modern, energy-efficient commercial kitchen,  and a medical clinic, staffed by Cornell Scott Hill Health Center’s Homeless Health Care Department. There will also be additional providers onsite, that will be able to conduct private, one-on-one consultations with the people DESK serves.  All of this will be connected by a new ADA-compliant elevator, a new stairwell, and a modern integrated HVAC system.

As DESK’s Executive Director, Steve Werlin, explained to those in attendance:

For the last two years, DESK has been assembling a coalition of private and public funders.  We’ve secured funding from the City of New Haven, from the state, and, thanks to our guardian angel in Washington, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, from the federal government.

With the success of the Breaking Bread fundraiser, DESK is now 85 percent of the way to their full campaign goal.  More information on this campaign the renovations can be found at

There are more than 600 people experiencing homelessness in New Haven on any given night. The Drop-In & Resource Center, or DRC, opened in 2021 as a service hub designed to link those who are unhoused to a network of services that can move them beyond homelessness by providing both basic needs, as well as next-level support services—like shelter, housing, employment, income assistance, mental health, substance use treatment, and medical care.

For more information contact Luis Olmo-Rivera, Development Director at (475) 238-6170 or by email at:





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