For 35 years, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen has supported those experiencing homelessness and living in poverty in New Haven. We have always believed in the power of community to make real and lasting changes in the lives of the people we serve. In coordination with our partners, DESK is developing New Haven’s first Downtown Drop-in & Resource Center at 266 State Street to provide more comprehensive services than ever before.
ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE
- Wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant
- Visible, identifiable, and welcoming
- Downtown—to meet people where they are
IMBUED WITH DIGNITY
- Designed for our Guests and by our Guests
- Basic needs: food, clothing, bathrooms
- Harm reduction supplies and interventions
- Outreach services and case management
- Medical and behavioral health services
- Coordinated Access Network entry
BASIC NEEDS + NEXT LEVEL SERVICES
People have always come to DESK to access to basic needs in a trusted environment. Once there, our staff and partners have the opportunity to connect them with the services and care that can move them beyond homelessness and toward a greater sense of stability and improved wellbeing.
DESK’s Drop-in Center will meet people where they are.
- Food, drinks, bathrooms, refuge, WiFi, lockers, harm reduction supplies.
- Volunteers and outreach workers, side-by-side.
- And doing what we’ve always done: building community.
NEXT LEVEL SERVICES
DESK’s Resource Center will move people beyond homelessness.
- Offices and examination rooms for Hill Health’s Homeless Healthcare Department, meeting space for a consumer advisory board, and swing space for outreach workers, shelter/ housing intake, and mental health first aid.
- Plus computers, washer/dryer, and shower facilities.
FRESHLY PREPARED MEALS
DESK’s Kitchen will promote health, community, and equity.
- With volunteers, staff, and guests shoulder to shoulder.
- Moving more meals to more people than ever before.
- Prepared with dignity, respect, and purpose,
DESK’s Administrative Floor will ensure we’ll be around for years to come.
- Greater impact means putting a stake in the ground.
- More administrative space for professional development, financial control systems, data management, performance evaluation, and sustainable operations.
- Open-floor design will maintain flexibility, preparing for some future programmatic use.
No one should go it alone. DESK is fortunate to work as part of a network of partners in homelessness and food assistance services in New Haven. The renovation of 266 State Street will incorporate space for our serice partners to operate, most notably Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, whose Department of Homeless Health Care will be based out of the second floor. Additionally, there will be space for private consultation and group meetings for our provider-partners, including Columbus House, Liberty Community Services, Connecticut Mental Health Center, and the Greater New Haven Coordinated Access Network, the last whom will be able to conduct onsite intake for the shelter system.
The redesign of 266 State Street will include a beautiful new Drop-in Center, a modern commercial kitchen, a second-floor Resource Center with medical clinic, and a third-floor administrative space, all connected by a new elevator and fully-integrated HVAC system.
The redesigned, street-level Drop-in Center will offer a variety of basic needs, including meals and snacks, coffee and drinks, WiFi, bathrooms, toiletries, and more. In addition, clients can make use of and access harm reduction interventions and supplies, such as syringe disposal, clean syringes, naloxone (Narcan), condoms, and other items that can help reduce the risk involved in drug use and sexual activity. Most importantly though, the space will over a sense of belonging and community. It has been designed with a trauma-informed and gender-responsive lens, with input from people with lived experience, all meant to be welcoming and inclusive.
The second-floor Resource Center will feature a dedicated medical clinic operated by Cornell Scott Hill Health Center’s Department of Homeless Health Care. In addition, there will be a private consultation room for other service provider and a bathroom and shower for use by clients.
The basement level will house our modern, energy-efficient, commercial kitchen — more than double the size of our current, 30-year-old kitchen! This incredible upgrade will be easily accessible via elevator. The space will also include a washer and dryer, which will be available for our clients to use.
Third-floor Office Space
DESK is growing! As our administrative staff strive to keep up with our ever-expanding services, we will redesign the third-floor to improve upon and increase available office capacity. Because we’re growing so quickly, we envision a day in which our administrative need outgrows even this space, and so we have purposefully kept an open-office floor plan in anticipation of the day in which we may transition this space to some sort of future programmatic use.
DESK’s community-based approach extends beyond our programs and outreach efforts to our funding strategy, as well. For this project, we are accessing a variety of public and private resources to ensure broadbased buy-in and commitment. Homelessness is a community problem that requires a community solution.
|Medical Clinic & Consultation Rooms
|Shower Facilities & Restrooms
|Architectural, Project Management, & Contingency
|US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development
|State of Connecticut
|Cornell Scott Hill Health Center
|City of New Haven (HUD Funds)
|Private Donations (Individuals and Families)
Updated: March 15, 2023
|Total Project Cost
|Amount Raised to-date (Mar. 15, 2023)
Initial Investors & Partners
Elsie Chapman, MS
Alison Cunningham, MDiv
Peter Herbert, MD
Ben Ledbetter, MArch
Scott McLean, PhD
Rafi Taherian, AVP Yale University
Sten Vermund, MD, PhD