Haverhill’s Common Ground Café Opens in New location to Support Homeless and Low-Income

New location of Common Grounds Café. (Courtesy photograph.)

Common Ground Café, near Haverhill’s inner-city Acre neighborhood, has expanded to include a new café, commercial kitchen and food pantry.

Ron Mills, Common Ground’s director for more than 21 years, has helped the renovation of the 194 Winter St. location alongside architect Angelo Petrozzelli for more than two and a half years. The $350,000 investment has helped make improvements for fire alarm and sprinkler systems, gas intakes to five furnaces and gas-powered ovens, water intake pipes and the expansion.

“We purchased a 10,000-square-foot building, of which we have established 2,200 square feet to the back of the building which a warehouse was prior and we transformed that into a café, commercial kitchen and food pantry of which will be open 365 days of the year for the use of supporting the homeless population in the city and the low income families,” said Mills.

The organization of 137 volunteers has donated what would otherwise be a $500,000 payroll into the expansion, and consists of approximately 31,600 hours of service.

Common Ground’s Buy a Brick campaign, started with a $20,000 grant, has helped raise an additional $20,800 dollars from those who have bought a brick place on the front of the building or in the entrance to Common Ground Café. Each lists names, businesses and memories for Haverhill.

Mills and Common Ground plans to open a thrift store to sell high-quality clothing at low prices for the homeless and low-income families, continuing the primary focus of support for the community.

The company is also planning a grand opening ceremony late this month or early April to celebrate. Planned guests include the mayor and local city officials.

For more information visit cgmcafe.org.

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