About

Our Mission:

To serve people experiencing homelessness or living in poverty by providing food assistance and services that promote health, community, and equity.

Who We Are

DESK began in 1987 as a grassroots, community response to the sudden rise in homelessness on the New Haven Green.

Over the years, our program and services have grown to respond to an increase in the need with more complex services, progressive strategies, and empathic approaches. Originally a program of Downtown Cooperative Ministries, DESK was incorporated as an independent, non-denominational organization in 1989. In 2003, we expanded to serve dinner five nights per week and added a weekly Food Pantry program, all based out of Center Church’s Parish House at 311 Temple Street.

In 2021, DESK opened New Haven’s first low-barrier, Downtown Drop-in & Resource Center for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness at 266 State Street.

  Our Values:

• Respect
• Dignity
• Community
• Empathy
• Empowerment

 Our Approach:

• Low-Barrier Services
• Person-Centered Engagement
• Harm-Reduction Principles
• Client-Driven Change

Join Our Team

Employment, Internships, Board Openings

What We Do

Meals

DESK serves dinner outside 311 Temple St. from 5:00-6:00 pm, Sunday through Thursday. Check out today’s menu.

On Friday & Saturday, we partner with Yale Community Kitchen, which distributes dinner at the same time next door at 323 Temple St. All are welcome! No questions asked!

For more information, call
(475) 331-6137 during business hours.

Olive Street Pantry

DESK distributes whole foods, grocery-style at 57 Olive St. from 1:30-3:00 pm every Wednesday.

All are welcome, but we do ask for everyone to complete a very short intake form. Look here to open our Self Registration Form for new and returning guests.

Please bring your own reusable bag!

For more information, call
(475) 331-6137 during business hours.

Drop-In Center

DESK operates New Haven’s only low-barrier Downtown day program for people who are on the street, Sunday through Friday, 1:30-5:30 pm. The Drop-in & Resource Center (DRC) is located at 266 State St. and offers basic needs and a variety of services to connect folks to shelter, housing, and income assistance. During the renovation of our State Street building, the Drop-in & Resource Center is temporarily located at 57 Olive Street.

For more information, call (475) 227-3009 during program hours.

Our Management Team

STEVE WERLIN

Executive Director

 

TINA PAOLILLO

Program Director

 

LUIS OLMO-RIVERA

Development Director

 

EVAN SERIO

Program Manager

 

MEAGAN HOWARD

Food Services Manager

 

VAL LAWLER

Assistant DRC Manager

 

Board of Directors

ALYSE SABINA, MPH
Board President, Independent Consultant

SOFIA I. MORALES, MPH, CPH
Board Vice-President, Yale School of Public Health

DAVID NORMAN-SCHIFF, ESQ.
Board Treasurer, Wiggin & Dana, LLP
CAITLIN RYUS, MD, MPH
Board Secretary, Yale School of Medicine, Emergency Medicine
TIM OPSTRUP, MA
Immediate Past Board President, Yale Ventures
LINDA CORTRIGHT, CPA
At Large, Self-employed

DENISE DEAN
Program Committee Chair, Fair Haven Community Health Care
JOY GARY, ESQ.
At-large, CT State’s Attorneys Office, Division of Criminal Justice
NATALIE JUDD
Development Chair, Big Voice Communications

 

AMELEA LOWERY
At-large, Yale School of Public Health

LAURIE SCHEINER, MD
Nominations Chair, Community Health Center, Retired
SELENE SOBERT
At-Large, Independent Affordable Housing Consultant
PASTOR KELCY STEELE, MDiv
At-Large, Varick A.M.E. Church

 

Enkhjiin Gansukh
Ex Officio, Yale Community Kitchen

ODESSA GOLDBERG
Ex Officio, Yale Community Kitchen

Transparency

This notice describes the privacy policy of the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK). We may amend this policy at any time. We collect personal information only when appropriate. We may use or disclose your information to provide you with services. We may also use or disclose it to comply with legal and other obligations. We assume that you agree to allow us to collect information and to use or disclose it as described in this notice. You can inspect personal information about you that we maintain. You can also ask us to correct inaccurate or incomplete information. You can ask us about our privacy policy or practices. We respond to questions and complaints. Read the full notice for more details. Anyone can have a copy of the full notice upon request.