Welcome to Community of Caring

    The mission of the Community of Caring is to meet basic human needs in a loving way.

Community of Caring is an international organization headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. Since 1980 we have provided food, clothing, shelter, and other basic necessities for people in Erie and throughout the world.

Community of Caring (COC) has been serving Erie since 1980, meeting basic human needs and sharing love and hope.

Mother Mary Beth Kennedy and her husband, the late Rev. Charles Kennedy, Sr., saw people in need all around them. They believed that God calls us to respond to those needs with compassion. What started with a few bags of groceries and an occasional holiday dinner grew dramatically. As the needs grew, so did COC.

Our Core Values

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love is an attitude and action, not an emotion; it can be defined as wanting what is best for the other person. Caring is not just our name, it’s what we do.
Our love grows out of God’s love and is only possible with God’s power.
Love CAN change the world!

“Helping each other in a loving way.”

We work together for our common good and the good of the agency and the larger community.
We think of others as well as ourselves.
We do not engage in physical or verbal violence. We do not tolerate gossip, backbiting or profanity. We work for peace and justice.
We forgive each other, extending God’s grace as He has given it to us.

“Everyone is important, because everyone is a child of God.”                        

All persons – Clients, staff, volunteers, visitors – are treated with respect because they are God’s creation. As people are treated with respect they learn to respect themselves and others more.

“We are committed to integrity and responsibility. ”                                       

Wise use of resources: All resources – time, talent, and treasure – are to be used wisely for the most possible benefit to the agency, its clients and staff. As far as possible we operate debt-free. If we must incur a debt, we pay it off as quickly as possible.
Accountability: We are accountable to donors, funders, and our board and staff for use of funds and good business practices. This includes having a system of checks and balances. It also means that donations are to be used for the designated purpose.
Transparency: “Avoid the appearance of evil”. The agency has a good reputation for using funds appropriately, and it’s important to maintain that. Thus we are committed to transparency, allowing free public access to financial records (as long as they don’t contain personal or confidential information about staff or clients).

“Faith is our foundation and lifeblood.”

It must remain an integral part of the organization if COC is to fulfill its mission of changing lives. Although it is not necessary to belong to a particular faith to work at COC or receive services, it is part of the organization’s culture. This means including prayer in meetings and allowing prayer in the workplace. We encourage prayer for the clients and staff.
It also means being faithful in keeping our word and showing Christ in our work.
And it means being faith-full, trusting that God will fulfill His purpose in our lives and our work; it means listening for His will and being obedient, trusting that He will provide the harvest.

“We accept others as they are and serve them in a spirit of humility.”                  

This does not mean that we are subservient or doormats. It means that we try to emulate Christ’s example; it also means we try to see and serve Him in others. True hospitality is not just giving food and shelter; it means accepting people as they are. This does not mean accepting bad behavior, but acknowledging the person as God’s child.

At Community of Caring we are committed to putting God’s love into action because we know that LOVE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

  • Started working for COC in May of 2007. I was filled with hatred and anger from my loss of my beloved wife Jeanette and my father’s abusive nature. But COC staff has shown me that with Gods love can change the world. By simple acts of caring and kindness I was shown a better path of love, caring, and kindness. Which I still to this day try to bestow on others I come across on a daily basic. So, I say share the love god has given you and pass it around. GOD BLESSED US ALL.


    P.S Thank You Mother Mary Beth Kennedy the most for if it wasn’t for your kind and loving heart I wouldn’t be the man I am today.

    Albert Russell
    Property Supervisor
  • Have been on disability for 15 years. Went through a divorce. Had to get a job, was reinjured. I lost my car and my house. I was staying at Erie City Mission for two months, before I ended up at COC. which I have been here for about two and a half months so far. I have a new place to live and made some new friends at COC

    Nathan Harback
  • I became homeless after I was laid off and my girlfriend at the time found out and threw me out with only the clothes on my back. After staying at the Mission, I was able find a job. With a bit of money in my pocket I went to Community of Caring, after hearing about their generosity and hospitality. It was there I met some very nice people. With their help I was finally able to find a apartment and have a place to call my own. I could have never have done this without the kind and caring people at Community of Caring

    Justin Powell