Common Ground Community Center – Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 10 am to noon.
The Common Ground Community Center offers the neighbors in Allison Hill a safe respite from the stresses of the neighborhood. The Center offers:
• A light brunch (usually soup, bread, coffee, and juice served by volunteers from the neighborhood),
• Vouchers to obtain food from one of the local food pantries
• Funds to get a photo ID
• Access to a telephone and bathrooms
Clothing, personal hygiene items, house cleaning items and books for adults and children – all donated by the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg and other local churches– are available to our neighbors. Neighborhood volunteers are responsible for receiving, sorting, and distributing many of these items.
Volunteers also help our neighbors with problems they are facing such as evictions, utility shut offs, substance abuse, legal issues, housing, illiteracy, applying for government benefits, etc.
The food is good, the conversations are better. Neighbors and volunteers chat and laugh as they share food and stories, celebrating what makes us unique and discovering all the things we have in common. There is also time for serious conversations about what is happening on the Hill, in the city of Harrisburg, the nation and the world.
CGCC has evolved into a community with many of the characteristics of a blended, extended family. Our neighbors tell us that they value building relationships, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, and being treated with respect, dignity and love. They appreciate that they are genuinely needed to help with the work of the center. They understand that the Common Ground Community Center is their program, that they help decide what happens there and that they share the responsibility for keeping it going.
CGCC is unique; the volunteer experience is never the same twice. It is driven by variables such the weather, the length of time since the last benefit/pay check, who shows up, the needs they present, etc. Volunteering at CGCC is a richly rewarding experience; we receive so much more than we give.