As you walk through Downtown New Haven, it’s likely that you’ll cross paths with people who are living on the streets, in parks and in various nooks and crannies around our city. It may not be your first thought to ponder what caused some these people to become homeless, but we see many of them each and every day. Some share their stories willingly, others are more reluctant. Through these stories, we receive a clear understanding of the life circumstances that put people on the street or the hardships that cause people to need to use the services we provide. Sometimes, our guests tell us that it’s okay to share their stories with the people who make DESK possible. This story belongs to “Frank.”
One of our long-time guests, Frank, is a familiar face at the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen. His story begins many years ago when, on one particular evening, Frank came home from work and asked his wife to go out to the store and grab him a six pack of beer. His request turned into an argument and his wife stormed out of the house. Later that night, Frank received a call from the police notifying him of a car accident that his wife had been in. (While telling this part of the story to me, Frank had a difficult time keeping his composure as his memories stirred bitter emotions.) Tragically, the accident took the life of his beloved spouse.
Later on when he went to the lot where the wreckage was stored to retrieve personal items from the car, Frank discovered a six pack of beer in the backseat. Despite their argument, his wife went out of her way to fulfill his request. Of course, the thought of this adds to the weight that has been placed on Frank and he has been in a downward spiral ever since the tragic events of that night.
Today, Frank is an alcoholic and lives on the streets of New Haven. Whether we ever knew his story or not, we know that it is not our place to judge those who we serve. Our one mission is to give a single small bit of hope to those who need it most through the hot meals we serve each and every day. Frank tells me that one of the very few comforts he has in his life is the meal he receives when he pays us a visit.
Fortunately for our guests, we exist because of volunteers and donors like you. At a time of the year when we see much fewer donations that we do at year end, there are opportunities for us to stretch every dollar given even further. On May 3rd and 4th, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven will hold The Great Give, a fundraising event that will provide matching funds and prizes for donations that are designated for the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen. It’s my honor to ask you to join me in making a contribution through The Great Give so that we can continue to serve those who are less fortunate.
Update May 9, 2015
Thanks to everyone who made The Great Give a super success this year. With your help, we were able to raise $3,825.00 plus we won a Golden Ticket prize of $500. Soon, we will find out how much we will receive in matching funds as well. In case you did not get a chance to give to DESK during The Great Give and are interested in making a contribution, you can do so by clicking here.