In 1974, a prayer group started by a priest from Sacred Heart University started walking around Bridgeport giving out sandwiches to for lunch. A simple act of kindness became a mission known as Merton House. In the 1980s, the House moved to a new location, directly increasing our service numbers and deepening our relationship with our community. What started out as a group of people heading out into the community to do good evolved into a rock for people in need to build their futures on.
The genesis of our programming centered on building personal relationships and growing prayer groups with the homeless, mentally ill, and elderly population. Over time, Merton House became the Thomas Merton Center and expanded to provide the largest food pantry in Bridgeport and the largest day shelter in the region. Throughout our history and growth, the heart and mission of the Center has remained the same… to provide a loving, safe and hope-filled community atmosphere. Part of why the Thomas Merton Center is such a successful organization is our approach to our guests. Acknowledging and respecting the dignity of each person who comes to the Center is what drives the work we do every day. We do not offer hand-outs; we offer a hand up to those in need, no matter where they are along their journey to self-sufficiency and wellness.