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New Home

New Hope

Capital Campaign for Catholic Charities' Thomas Merton Family Center

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Our History

1974

Sacred Heart University prayer group begins handing out sandwiches to the homeless population in Bridgeport. This evolves into the mission known as The Merton House.

1980

The Merton House moves into the program’s current location on Madison Avenue in the Hollow Section of Bridgeport.

2005

The Merton House becomes The Thomas Merton Center – largest day shelter in the region offering prepared meals, food pantry, mail services, case management services, and shower program to our guests.

Now

In 5,500 square feet, staff offers a hand up, not a hand out, to those in need of assistance.

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Our Future

With our partners, the Catholic Charities Thomas Merton Family Center will provide wraparound services to our guests, helping them along their path to self-sufficiency in a newly renovated 13,000 square foot building at 1406 State Street in the heart of Bridgeport.

Partners:

Southwest Community Health Center
Housatonic Community College
St. Joseph’s Parenting Center

Who Do We Help?

Gender

  • Male 77% 77%
  • Female 23% 23%

Race

  • White 17% 17%
  • Hispanic 44% 44%
  • Black 37% 37%
  • Asian 2% 2%

Age

  • 20-29 4% 4%
  • 30-39 13% 13%
  • 40-49 19% 19%
  • 50-59 32% 32%
  • 60-69 27% 27%
  • 70+ 5% 5%

Mission | Values

The Thomas Merton Center is committed to providing a loving, safe and hope-filled community atmosphere that responds to the needs of its guests and residents and respects the dignity of each person.

We reflect to the individual and the community our shared responsibility to love and support one another.

A Journey to

Self-Sufficiency

Guest Entry

Meal Program
Food Pantry
Project Warm
Cooling / Warming Center
Mail Program
Shower Program

Case Management

Our Case Managers provide one-on-one support to help guests toward self-sufficiency and achievement of their dreams.

Wraparound Services

Health Care
Dental Care
Immigration Services
Family Loan Program
Housing Services
ESL Classes
Job Training
Financial Education
Parenting Classes
Mental Health Counseling
Support Groups

How YOU Can Help

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Project Budget

Building purchase, environmental, legal – $960,000
Construction/renovation – $1,400,000
Structural engineering /architectural – $150,000
Legal/zoning – $40,000
Furnishings/equipment – $200,000
Kitchen and pantry – $270,000
Move – $75,000
Renovation of Blue House for continuing services in the Hollow – $50,000
Outreach van – $80,000
Panel truck for rescue food – $80,000
Capacity building** – 3 year additional operating funds – $1,240,000
Campaign marketing – $55,000
Administration – $72,000
Contingency – $328,000

**CAPACITY BUILDING
Additional case managers, operations | Additional security/maintenance | Additional costs of larger building | Additional client support services

FIRST FLOOR OF OUR NEW HOME

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Naming Opportunities

Dining Hall
Kitchen
Food Pantry
Multi-Purpose Room
Conference Room
Break Room
Elevator
Showers
Offices (14)

Could the Thomas Merton Family Center be part of your legacy?
Your generosity will provide help and hope for the community.
Naming opportunities create a lasting legacy with Catholic Charities.

SECOND FLOOR OF OUR NEW HOME

Path to 1406 State Street, Bridgeport

  • 44% 44%

RAISED TO DATE

  • 77% 77%

YOUR HELP

  • 100% 100%

OUR GOAL

$5,000,000 GOAL

Ways to Give

– Cash
– Check
– Stock

Ways to give above and beyond this Capital Campaign:

– Add Thomas Merton Family Center to your will

– Name Thomas Merton Family Center as a beneficiary to a life insurance plan

– Set up an Endowment for Thomas Merton Family Center through Foundations in Charity

Leadership Team

Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano

Bishop, Diocese of Bridgeport

Bill Colson

Director, The Thomas Merton Center

Mike Donoghue

Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County

Sabine Kuczo

Operations Coordinator, The Thomas Merton Center

Hopes and Dreams of Our Guests

In Their Own Words

Make a difference

Stability and peace

Find a place in this world

Find a job

To be able to work

Win the lottery

Be comfortable

Have a roof over my head

Happiness in life

Properly recuperate from injury

Get my movie script discovered

Work and prosper

Start a new life in this country

Quiero aprender inglés (I want to learn English)

Move forward, not backward

Access good healthcare

Own a cat

Have a family of my own

Run my own business

Qualify to work in this country

Help our youth stay off drugs by opening a rehab facility

Catholic Charities’ Thomas Merton Family Center

‘New Home New Hope’ Campaign Committee

Laure Aubuchon
Carol Calandra
Michael McNulty
Mark Kelly
Sheila Clancy

CATHOLIC CHARITIES
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Nancy Murphy – Chair
Tony Giobbi – Vice Chair
Daniel Casal – Treasurer
Anne O. McCrory – Secretary
Fr. Juan Gabriel Acosta
Laure Aubuchon
Carol Calandra
Cathy Frierson
Lorraine Gibbons
Thomas Heckel
Alexander Paluch
Don McGuire
Bill Tommins

THOMAS MERTON CENTER
ADVISORY COUNCIL

Marianne Kahn – Chair
Louise Gidez – Vice Chair
Alberto Martins – Finance
Michelle Babyak
Dave Blagys
Edna Borchetta
Sheila Clancy
Jack Edwards
Tom Gaudett
Mark Kelly
George Logan
Mary Ann O’Connor

FOUNDATIONS IN CHARITY
BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Anne O. McCrory – Chair
Al Barber
Mike Boyd
John Danaher
Tony Fernandez
Louise Gidez
Michael Hanlon
Jerry Knorr
Tom Kolenberg
Mike McNulty

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For more information,

Contact us.

Kathleen Pierce, Capital Campaign Director
203-331-5114 [email protected]