Hands On Hartford was founded as Center City Churches in 1969. The agency was founded by the members of eight congregations in downtown Hartford to help their congregants put their faith into action.
Over the years, the agency created Connecticut’s first supportive housing program for people living with AIDS; Hartford’s first and only group home for adults who are mentally ill; Hartford’s first soup kitchen; Hartford’s only fuel assistance program for the working poor; Connecticut’s first and Hartford’s only weekend senior nutrition program; and, Hartford’s most comprehensive after-school tutoring and arts education program for elementary school children.
In 2006, Center City Churches became the Hartford affiliate of HandsOn Network, now known as the Points of Light Global Network. The agency changed its name to Hands On Hartford in 2007. The Points of Light Global Network includes volunteer-mobilizing organizations located in nearly 40 countries around the world. To learn more about the Points of Light Global Network, visit www.pointsoflight.org/global-network.
In 2016, Hands On Hartford moved into a new agency home in the Parkville neighborhood of Hartford, called the Hands On Hartford Center for Community. For the first time, the agency’s food, housing and supportive services are under the same roof with the administrative offices.
In 2022, we opened our innovative pay-what-you-can restaurant, Gather55, located at our Center for Community. More information can be found at the Gather55 website.
Hands On Hartford is supported by congregations from many different religions and denominations, civic organizations, government, corporate and foundation grants, individual donations and more than 1,200 dedicated volunteers each year.