On February 4,1980, in a one room kitchen armed with a twelve-cup coffee pot, a two-slice toaster, and a few dollars, two Sisters of Saint Joseph ventured into the North End of Hartford on a journey to follow a dream. Their dream of feeding the poor and meeting the basic needs of Hartford’s poorest people materialized and grew. Sisters Maureen Faenza, CSJ and Theresa Fonti, CSJ, and many dedicated people worked together to follow the voice of a dream and respond with personal resources, prayer and renewed energies.

In fulfilling the dream of assisting Hartford’s poor, The House of Bread embarked on programs focusing on hunger, shelter, transitional living, affordable housing, education, Thrift Shop, and job training programs. All efforts became possible with the support and involvement of numerous volunteers, many church and civic groups, and various businesses and corporations.

A strong influence on The House of Bread service ministries is the dedication and commitment from Saint Patrick – Saint Anthony Church. The Franciscan Friars support and encourage the involvement of parishioners in many of our service programs.

Has the dream been fulfilled? That first step taken in 1980, a risk to walk among the poor in the city of Hartford, gave rise to wonderful possibilities, cherished friendships, and new ways to give and receive. The Good News says to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked and to shelter the homeless and so it is done.