On the eve of the day in which we give thanks for the blessings in our lives, among the many things I am thankful for are the many people who make sure that our most vulnerable neighbors are cared for.
One such group is John Bradley and his team at Liberty Community Services, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to end homelessness in Greater New Haven. Liberty offers services to homeless individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS, mental illness and/or addiction.
Their newest program is the Sunrise Café, which opened earlier this year to meet the growing need among homeless and low-income residents for access to a free breakfast program each weekday morning. One of the remarkable things about the Sunrise Café is that it was the dream of a New Haven resident, who was determined to open a breakfast café for those in need. She shared her idea with many people until John Bradley and Liberty said, “Yes, let’s do it!” She is one of the Café’s most dedicated volunteers—and there are many!
Every weekday, the Café serves about 100 -150 guests in the basement of St. Paul and St. James Church in New Haven’s Wooster Square neighborhood. The Café offers a plentiful and nutritious breakfast to its guests, who are typically single men or women who have no other source of breakfast food. The Sunrise Café provides a welcoming and safe shelter from the extreme cold or heat. It also helps create a sense of community for guests, which the staff and volunteers have been especially excited to see develop.
When we learned about the Sunrise Café and the terrific work being done by Liberty Community Services, the Tariq Farid Foundation was pleased to provide our support through a grant to the organization.
In the course of events that make up our daily lives, especially during the busy holiday season that is ahead, it can be easy to forget or overlook those in our community who are in need. Thankfully, there are those like John Bradley and the staff and volunteers at Liberty Community Services who are there on a daily basis, providing nutritious meals as well as the promise of hope, safety and community.
If you are able, the Sunrise Café would welcome additional support. It is primarily in need of coffee and dairy products, as well as more volunteers. If you would like to help, please visit http://www.libertycs.org/ or call (203) 495-1779.
May you and your family have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.