CSP has launched a new Publishing venture and our first project is a book called "Wisdom for Our Sons: Straight Talk from a Street Cop" by Curtis S. Ostrander. Curtis is a former cop and founder of the non-profit "Dads for a Day" www.dadsforaday.org. Book is available in print format, and e-books for kindle, nook, and itunes.
WABI-TV 5 ran a 2-part report on CSP. Here are links to the stories.
INTRODUCING NEW PARTNERSHIP, DEC. 21, AT 11:00 AM
Jerry Ireland, Executive Director of United Farmer Veterans of Maine (UFV), and Dr. Stan Moody, Director of Columbia Street Project (CSP) and Senior Pastor of Columbia Street Baptist Church, announced today a formal partnership between the two non-profit corporations.
According to Ireland, the new relationship will enable UFV to build a training center to address the needs of its nearly 225 veteran-owned farm affiliates. “Bangor is geographically central to our statewide outreach. We are pleased to locate here and very gratified to find a compatible partnership with the Columbia Street Project. We believe this will be good for our veterans and good for building community in Bangor.”
The Columbia Street Project was developed as a resource center to assist reentering prisoners to gain job skills and find housing and employment. They do this by working with the vast social service resources available in the greater Bangor area but have found the housing and job training needs very difficult to address. “Our mission has been to help people whose lives have been shattered to rise above their circumstances”, says Moody. “We are a perfect fit for UFV, which is committed to rebuilding lives shattered by PTSD, TBI and substance abuse as the result of active military service. UFV offers concrete options, such as housing and job training, which expand our ability to respond more effectively to the needs of our clientele. As a downtown facility with 26,000 square feet of space, the options are virtually unlimited.”
When asked how a secular agency can effectively partner with a faith-based agency, Ireland offers this: “We feel that CSP broadens our mission by offering a more holistic mentoring approach to healing for those who wish to take advantage of that capacity. On the other hand, our “hand-up” approach to rebuilding lives offers CSP housing and job training options that would otherwise be out of reach for them. I see no conflict and only enhancement of both missions by working together to move beyond the common “hand-out” approach traditionally practiced within the faith community. We will collaborate to teach both veterans and reentering prisoners the importance of giving back to our communities by growing food, developing businesses, and mentoring others who commit to accomplishing the same in their own lives. It is a mission of people helping people rise above the downward spiral of defeat.”
The two agencies will conduct a press event on Dec. 21, at 11:00 am at 45 Columbia St in Bangor.
Expressive Filmmaking Workshop
Rev. Dr. Stan Moody, Director of the Columbia Street Project (CSP) at 45 Columbia St., announced today a collaborative initiative with the University of Maine Master of Fine Arts Program. “On October 11, we will begin a 6-week Video Production Workshop at our facility to train adults in the production of video documentaries. We are prospecting for trainees preferably with some past or present experience with the criminal justice system. Applications are available through Tim Rogers, 944-3599, Program Director of our Arts Education Program”.
According to Moody, CSP was approached a year ago by Nate Aldrich, from the Master of Fine Arts Program, to consider developing a video production studio in downtown Bangor as a vehicle for skill development in the cutting-edge video art medium. “CSP’s primary mission is as a resource center specializing in reentry programs directed toward reducing recidivism rates among released prisoners. Nate saw our efforts as tapping into a wealth of stories that would bring video production art to that mission. We were able to raise the funding for the first year and offer two sessions of 6-week courses in both semesters of this academic year free of charge”.
The course is limited to 6-students who will receive a certificate of completion that Moody says is expected to open doors for independent videographers or as employees of local television stations or advertising firms. “We are excited about the potential for this skill as a marketing tool for the unique story of the CSP as a center to help people rise above their circumstances and pay back to the community”.
The Columbia Street Project, located in the building next door to and owned by Columbia Street Baptist Church, is a separate 501(c)(3) corporation intended to expand the outreach of the church from traditional worship services to greater involvement in the downtown community. Moody also serves as Senior Pastor of CSBC and brings to the church a background in small business development and social service.
A training slot remains open for the first semester beginning Oct. 11 at 5:30 pm, two evenings a week. Applications are also being received for the second semester classes.
Columbia Street Project Forum
June 25, Bangor, Maine. A forum was held June 5, at the Columbia Street Project’s newly renovated facilities for about 60 community leaders and social service providers. See the video belowfor a short synopsis.
Memorial service for homeless man
June 19, Bangor, Maine. A memorial service was held at Columbia Street Baptist Church to honor the memory of a homeless man known as "JR" who was accidentally killed. After the service, community members walked downtown to place flowers on a bench JR was known to frequent. Photo Gallery
Columbia Street Project Forum
June 8, Bangor, Maine.A forum was held June 5, at the Columbia Street Project’s newly renovated facilities for about 60 community leaders and social service providers. The purpose of the Forum (facilitated by Millennia Consulting of Chicago, IL) was to define the mission, structure and sustainability of the Project in preparation for its formal launch in late summer or early fall. CSP will provide services to individuals who have experienced incarceration, intending to empower such individuals to rise above their circumstances toward productive life in society. Such initiatives as literacy training, job training, entrepreneurship training, sports, and life skill development are intended, as well as person-to-person mentoring. Presently located one block west of Penobscot County Jail and one block east of the primary Section Eight housing in the City of Bangor, it is uniquely positioned to provide both goods and services to the poor and dispossessed. Rev. Dr. Stan Moody, executive director of the Columbia Street Project and a former chaplain at the Maine State Prison, says “We want to come up with a vision for helping people rise above their circumstances,” Moody said. “We view ourselves as a resource center where we connect people to services. The Forum, has helped us find out where the missing links are for people who need them. Over the past two years, Columbia Street Baptist Church raised about $150,000 to renovate its education building, a former bakery, to help meet the goals of the Project. For more information about CSP or learn how you can become a partner or volunteer, visit our website www.columbiastreetproject.org or call 945-6616. You can support CSP at it’s fundly site fundly.com/the-columbia-street-project . The Columbia Street Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation serving downtown Bangor and is located at 45 Columbia Street.
Columbia Street Project to Host Community Leaders
May 22, 2015, Bangor, Maine. A year and a half after announcing its intention to create a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to serve the Bangor downtown community, Columbia Street Baptist Church (CSBC) is putting the finishing touches on the Columbia Street Project (CSP) to be housed next door to the church at 45 Columbia Street, Bangor.
A Forum for community leaders and social service providers will be held at the facility on Friday, June 5, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The purpose of the Forum, to be facilitated by Millennia Consulting of Chicago, IL, will be further to define the mission, structure and sustainability of the Project in preparation for its formal launch in late summer or early fall.
“Our 501(c)(3) application has been IRS approved, extensive rehabilitation of the facility into a secure office complex is nearly completed, the initial consultant’s report is in hand, and social service providers are being encouraged as potential partners to the project”, says Stan Moody, Senior Pastor of CSBC and Director of the Project. While the focus of the Project will be to provide resources and assistance to those with prior experience with the criminal justice system, Moody sees the mission as a resource center for reentry of all those ready and willing to rise above their circumstances.
“We have been surprised and pleased at the community acceptance and encouragement”, Moody states. “Because of its strategic location, Columbia St. is uniquely situated to reach people and their families who have fallen on hard times. Through the Columbia Street Project as a cooperative venture, we expect to be ready to transition from the customary “hand-out” to the preferable “hand-up”.
CSBC has a long history of reaching out to those struggling to survive. It began in 1845 as a ministry to the working waterfront. Recently, it has been serving meals on Sunday afternoon and evening and on Monday evening to between 200 and 300 people. It hosts an active Celebrate Recovery program for those working to recover from addictions. Moody expects that over the next couple of years there will be a number of clients who will be ready to take their places in the community at large and to share their stories.
transportation for all
April 27, 2015, Bangor, ME. A rally by a local action group known as "Transportation for All" was held in Pickering Square Wednesday morning April 22. The group is supported by area elected officials, clergy, "Faith Linking in Action", bus drivers, University of Maine-Augusta’s Bangor campus, passengers, community groups and ATU Local. Transportation for All will survey passengers, would-be riders and community members about their transportation needs in hopes of improving service, possibly running later into the evening or adding Sunday routes. Many people use the bus for transportation to jobs and need expanded service to get to work later in the evening and on Sundays. Faith leaders encourage Sunday service, so community members can attend worship services.
“I have witnessed firsthand just how vital the bus service is to the vast array of people in the Bangor metro area,” Bus driver Sue Warner said. “The drivers need jobs, and the passengers need rides. We are all in this together.”
Other speakers included Bangor City Councilor Gibran Graham, Rev. Dr. Stan Moody (Columbia Street Project/Columbia Street Baptist Church), Angela Bickford (Faith Linking in Action), Ed Knutson (ATU), Rev.Dr. Mark Doty (Hammond Street Congregational Church) and several regular bus riders.
See photos gallery, click here
Insight conference video
Dr. Ron Sider speaking on Faith and Social Justice at an "Insight" conference for Columbia Street Project, August 2014.
The "Insight" Conference series is sponsored by the Columbia Street Baptist Church and The Columbia Street Project in an attempt to introduce ideas and discussion in our community that provide mission focus and impetus for action. Dr. Sider's presentation addresses the issue of blending the two components of the Gospel of Christ - evangelism and social justice - to help us invite the community to "rise above it's circumstances."