Lots Going on at The Cafe!

Serving Grab & Go Breakfasts at The Cafe

Dear Friends,

Potentially delivering breakfasts to the winter warming centers, continuing to serve “grab and go” breakfasts outdoors, purchasing insulated warm food containers, improvements to St PJs, welcoming new board members – lots going on at the Cafe.

The Cafe has been serving our “grab and go” style breakfast at the corner of Chapel and Olive plus at the corner of Ferry and Grand in Fair Haven all summer. Our staff – Thelma, Julio and Paul – along with our regular volunteers Dusty, Sandy, Mike, Lorenzo and crew from EmergeCT and board members Sally and Joanna have kept the Cafe running smoothly. We do thoroughly miss being together indoors and struggle with having to maintain a COVID safe distance.

We have been asked by Velma George, City of New Haven Homelessness Services Coordinator, to provide breakfast to the city’s warming centers. There is an article about the program in October 22nd the New Haven Independent. I. f we accept the invitation, we will need two or three additional morning volunteers starting at about 6 am to help package breakfasts for delivery to the warming centers and a volunteer to transport the breakfasts. If this is something you are able to do, please contact Art Hunt, art@sunrisecafenewhaven.org.

With winter approaching, we investigated improving the heating and air exchange in the space we rent from St PJs so that we could invite guests indoors but the expense was substantially more than we can afford. We are waiting for quotations to resurface the restroom walls to make it possible to frequently disinfect them before we decide if guests can use the restrooms in the cold weather – but if you have tried to get the attention of a contractor recently, you know how busy they are.

We are also purchasing insulated warm food containers to keep our breakfasts as warm as possible.

Since we are unable to keep staff and volunteers and guests safe from COVID indoors, we are experimenting with how to keep them warm outdoors. We are starting with outdoor electric heaters to evaluate models and placement.

Over the summer, we added two new board members – Anika Steward and Merlyn LaPaix MSN, MBA. Ms. Stewart is a self-educated professional. She attended Gateway Community College and is active in the LGBTQ community. She manages a hair salon in New Haven where she is also a sought-after makeup artist. Ms LaPaix retired from Yale as Director of Nursing. She has over 35 years of executive and management leadership experience. Check our website at www.sunrisecafenewhaven.org for biographies for all of our board members.

The Cafe board of directors is an all-volunteer working board and we do have a few open roles. If you are interested in serving in a working capacity on the board, please contact Art Hunt, art@sunrisecafenewhaven.org.

Thank you for everything you do to provide for the homeless and hungry in New Haven.

We hope that you are doing well and staying safe during these exceptionally challenging times.

Art Hunt
Cafe Board of Directors