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
Eat Smart Marketplace
The Eat Smart Marketplace is dedicated and committed to making a difference in the lives of their guests by educating them on how to make healthy food choices. Partnering with another non-profit in the community, the Eat Smart Marketplace provides groceries for needy families and individuals living in the 06604, 06605, and 06606 zip codes in Bridgeport. The program serves over 400 families per month.
While still providing shelf stable items such as canned foods and dry pasta, the pantry is now focusing on providing fresh produce, meats, and dairy items to better serve the needs of its guests. The Eat Smart Marketplace allows guests to walk through the pantry, with a volunteer to help select items. This method is very popular with the pantry visitors, instead of handing out prearranged bags and ensures that the food given out will be used by those in need.
The Eat Smart Marketplace now stands out as the best stocked food pantry in the city and is providing the most essential nutrients to those in need. If you are in need of food and you live in the above zip codes, please visit us during any of the listed days and hours. No referrals needed. Be sure to bring your I.D.
If you visit the Center, please park in spots 1-5 in the parking lot to the side of the building.
Who to Contact
Brian Jenkins, PHD
The Thomas Merton Center
43 Madison Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Fax: (203) 367-8828