Common Grounds Ministries and Thrift Shop will use a section of a municipal parking lot on Locke Street temporarily to display and sell furniture and other goods in order to fund its program.
City councilors approved the request by Russell Walker, the organization’s vice president. Walker explained that the ministry, which serves the city’s homeless and low-income population with meals, a food pantry, clothing, household goods and fellowship, counts on the money made on sales from its thrift shop at 8 White St.
Currently the organization’s location is undergoing renovations, including installation of a sprinkler system, which prevents shoppers from entering the building.
City Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien remarked that a covered or indoor location would be preferable to the parking lot. Walker agreed, but said the organization had been unable to find a suitable location that would be free to use.
“We have kind-hearted people in the city who may be listening and might be able to help you,” Daly O’Brien said.
Walker explained that Common Grounds Ministries and its cafe are open 365 days a year, and serves breakfast and lunch to more than 100 people each day. The cafe is too small to accommodate everyone in need at the same time, so diners are served in shifts.
Council President John A. Michitson (pictured) commended Common Grounds for the service it provides to those in need.
“It’s a little bit alarming, the numbers. Very alarming, actually,” Michitson said.