In the Community


For far too many Hartford families, hunger and homelessness are an on-going struggle. Since 2010, Charter Oak has been providing critical, innovative programs to empower our neighbors who are experiencing hunger and homelessness with educational opportunities, food and art. 

Beat of the Street (BOTS)

Eats of the Street

BOTS Center for Creative Learning

Community News

Beat of the Street Newspaper (BOTS)

Supporting and Empowering Those Experiencing Homelessness

BOTS Newspaper

In September of 2010, Charter Oak Cultural Center launched Beat of the Street, a newspaper which is written and distributed by individuals who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, homelessness and their allies. We started by printing 300 copies in our office, every other month. Now, we have a circulation of 5,500 per month. Beat of the Street features articles, stories, poetry, interviews and artwork. We hire 11 individuals from the homeless community to deliver the paper and compensate those who contribute content to the paper.


For more information about bots programs

Eats of the Street

Combating Hunger and Bringing Jobs and Art to Hartford

Learn more about our latest Eats of the Streets partnership with Levo International

Watch Rabbi Donna Berman’s Ted Talk on BOTS Pots.

Through our Eats of the Street program, we place large pots of organic vegetable plants throughout the city of Hartford. We hire members of the homeless community to tend the pots, which are painted by local artists. The vegetables are available for free to anyone in need, addressing hunger in our city. Eats of the Street brings food, jobs and art to Hartford.

To combat the rise in hunger resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic, we partnered with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and Levo International to install hydroponic systems in institutions throughout the city, which enabled us to increase our yearly yield of vegetables by a ton (2,000 pounds!).

BOTS Center for Creative Learning

Creating a Pathway to Prosperity

The BOTS Center for Creative Learning provides a completely free education for those experiencing homelessness. We provide three semesters a year, offering mostly arts-based classes.

Highly-qualified instructors, ranging from seasoned community leaders to corporate executives to doctors, lawyers, and artists, facilitate all of our classes; providing students with an opportunity to network and grow beyond the classroom curriculum.

Here Comes the Poetry Bus!

Here Comes the Poetry Bus!

Charter Oak Cultural Center is proud to present The Poetry Bus, a CT Transit vehicle featuring excerpts from poems written by our Youth Arts Initiative students. Working with YAI teaching artist and...

Eats of Street, featured on WFSB

Eats of Street, featured on WFSB

Donna Berman, Executive Director of Charter Oak Cultural Center, explains Beat of the Street's fresh food program Eats of the Street. "We put these pots on the street and we fill them with organic...