Ellen and Anne
Anne Calabresi and Ellen M. Gabrielle began meeting with local civic organizations in 2013 to find space where people lacking permanent homes could find safety, warmth and nourishment in the morning not just as an alternative to being outside but as a preferred place to meet friends and be welcomed with love, dignity and respect.
In March 2015, with encouragement and support from John Bradley, then Liberty Community Services Executive Director and initial funding from the Carolyn Foundation, Sunrise Cafe opened as a program of Liberty Community Services. In just four years, Sunrise has grown to serving 36,000 breakfasts each year and welcoming up to 240 guests each morning.
Previously a program of Liberty Community Services, in 2019 the Cafe became an independent nonprofit corporation and received IRS 501c3 charitable organization recognition.
After a Lifetime of Love and Service, Ellen died in 2019. So many in the greater New Haven community knew Ellen as a fierce long-time advocate and leader on the HIV/AIDS, housing and homelessness, and food insecurity front lines. Ellen served as Development Director at Liberty Community Services for many years. Ellen was a devoted resident of New Haven committed to building community and making a difference. She is dearly missed but her warmth, her passion, and her energy live on in the Cafe.