The Thomas Merton House of Hospitality
THE THOMAS MERTON CENTER was founded in 1974 by a group of concerned individuals who saw a need for services to the economically disadvantaged people in the city of Bridgeport. As the times have changed and the needs of the people we serve have changed we have developed programs that address issues such as housing, nutritional needs, healthcare needs, parenting issues and youth at risk.
The Thomas Merton House of Hospitality provides breakfast, lunch and day shelter Monday-Saturday to approximately 300 people daily.
We also provide the following other services:
Support Groups - a safe, non-judgmental place for individuals to address the issues in their lives that may be barriers to self-sufficiency (i.e. abusive relationships, addiction problems, etc.).
Creative Groups – provide an opportunity for Merton guests to express themselves through writing and art.
Case Management - provides individual support for approximately 50 guests a month. We help them with budgeting, paying rent and teaching the value of saving money. We also help them obtain and manage state and federal benefits and connect with other social services.
Thomas Merton Center Fall 2012 Newsletter
Thomas Merton Center Spring 2013 Newsletter
One Client's Story
So many people know The Thomas Merton Center for its “soup kitchen” and food pantry; places to go to when you are hungry. However, for some, the Merton Center is also a place of healing and support.
Ruben is one of those people. Ruben was down on his luck. He was trying to get clean and deal with anger issues. For support, he started coming to the Merton Center to attend Spirituality and Men’s groups. Ruben enjoyed the groups regularly and said through them he was “learning how to live.” Still, Ruben ended up homeless. However, while living in a local shelter, he was able to connect with Catholic Charities’ Housing Department, which helped him find an apartment. He lives in that apartment today, and still attends the Merton Center for meals and the support groups.
Ruben credits the Merton groups for helping him to learn to love and respect people. As a result, he now enjoys an increased respect that he receives from his family. He has been clean for two years, and has credited the Merton Center as a support in his recovery, saying, “There is so much positive here that people need to find out (about). Ruben is a great Catholic Charities success story who now looks to positively impact his fellow brothers and sisters in the support groups. “I feel I have a lot of responsibility in how they look up to me,” he says.