Since the Benton House was incorporated as a Non-Profit Institution on the 4th of February 1970 we have operated and developed in various ways. But something has unified us all along the way: Benton House envisions itself as a community center adapting to the diverse needs and desires of Bridgeport.
To us, being a community center is many things.
- We offer public spaces to the community, such as our garden, library, and gym.
- We facilitate programming for youth, seniors, and everyone in between.
- We provide meaningful volunteer opportunities.
- We work with neighborhood businesses and organizations to provide a venue for community members and leaders to collaborate, celebrate, and generally enjoy each other's company.
- We advocate for the measures taken to address large social and political issues influencing every day life in America.
We do all this and more within modest means & practical approaches with a commitment to neighborly love and collective hope.
It is never enough to facilitate community involvement in education, celebration, and activism. And so, in addition to being a community center we are a charitable organization. As a charitable organization we are service-based. That is, we play a supporting role in society by offering services, such as our food pantry, so that we may provide for the immediate needs of the people in the neighborhood. It is known that charities may be accused of standing above those they help, but we stand with our neighbors, share their insecurities, and work tolerantly, practically, and democratically to find and help solve issues that face each and every one of us.
Therefore, Benton House's vision is twofold and our vision statement is likewise twofold:
"We at the Benton House envision a community where all members have access to programs that encourage and support self-sufficiency, while providing a safe, nurturing space to congregate, educate, and celebrate in their community."
"To build a unified community that reflects the rich, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the Bridgeport neighborhood, which can advocate for its needs, and works toward a vibrant, sustainable, and healthier community."
All are welcome to involve themselves in this vision, so please join us in striving towards building a democratic, healthful, and peaceful community at the Benton House.