De Facto Community Center NPZ Food Not Bombs

The Long Term Goal of the De Facto Community Center Project is to establish an  Advocacy - Community Service - Art and Music Center / Drop-in center in or near New Paltz, NY

In addition to raising money to establish a community center we are actively engaged in many community service and advocacy projects. Please see a description of our current projects at the bottom.
See Facebook Page and Group for more details and photos of our current projects.
For questions or if you are interested in being involved email [email redacted]

To provide a place where people from all walks of life and all levels of privilege come together to work on advocacy, community service, and cultural projects.

To provide needed storage, meeting, and organizing space for future and already existing local advocacy, community service, and cultural groups.

To provide the basic needs and services including showers, laundry, kitchen, food, shelter of those in the community and to allow those with access to less resources to be actively engaged in their community. Being an active, informed and engaged member of the community and society has become a luxury due to the increasingly accelerating cost of living and the state of our economy. We aim to level the playing field so anyone can participate in community service, advocacy, direct action, mutual aid, music, art and culture.

General Philosophy
Any member of the community who has an idea that benefits the community or a portion of the community is welcome to utilize our facility and services for their project. We intend to keep growing and expanding to fill in the gaps between already existing projects and entities and the needs and wants of society and the community.

This is not a place of charity, but one of mutual aid. This is a place for people to help themselves while working to help each other and the community. We operate under the conviction that each and every member of our community has value and something to offer, and that we achieve nothing if we do not all work together. Change happens from the bottom up, not from the top down. If we cannot work with those on the bottom, as equals, to challenge the status quo, we have already lost.

The Hudson Valley as long been known as a place of vibrant culture, environmental protection, glorious local agriculture, and progress. Along with this reputation comes the desire for others to live here and along with that an ever increasing cost of living.

Many of us were part of the brief local transition town movement which overlapped in 2011 the local occupy movement. In both we saw a diverse group of people come together to solve real problems, and both shared a significant amount of similar goals. However both of these local movements, despite the interested in them and need for them collapsed after a short time.

This project is our dream wrought from hundreds of conversations, frustrations, day dreams and brainstorming sessions. Many of us, having been involved in advocacy, community service, direct action and community projects were noticing patterns, chronic hindrances and dead ends.

Although large non-profits have their place, grassroots groups are the backbone of every movement. However, there are many difficulties hindering grassroots groups, large or small. No headquarters, no office space, no storage space, no meeting space making organizing very difficult. We need a new way to organize on the local level.

The other issue impeding progress is class. For the most part, people in these movements are seniors who were retired with good hearts and lots of time on their hands, or college students with great energy, can do attitude, enthusiasm but high turn-over, and limited reliability because (rightfully so) school comes first. So many of the people in the middle are missing. Why? Student loans, rent, phone bills, lack of jobs, kids, no time or energy after making rent/mortgage to do much of anything, busy busy busy tired tired tired.

It is time to find a way to get all those folks in the middle a chance to be a part of all of this too.  The parents, the struggling 20 and 30 somethings, the professionals, etc.

Our aim is to provide whatever is needed for every member of our community, (permanent and transient) the ability to participate in whatever way possible.

Volunteer opportunities for professionals made easy and working around their schedules, providing the basic necessities for those struggling economically so they have some more time and energy to better the conditions that are causing them to struggle in the first place.

A central hub to connect everything that is going on so we can combine efforts instead of duplicating them, help publicize and participate in great work that groups and individuals are doing all over the region, nation, and world.

Projects / Services once Community Center is established

Distro  Zines, local free publications, know your rights info, NLG guide books, Attorney Generals Guides and handbooks, etc.

Workshops and classes / skill shares on a wide range of skills and knowledge from foraging to knitting, gardening to website development, history and politics to food preservation and wilderness survival skills etc.

Storage Meeting and Office Space for local advocacy groups and a place where many people can be mobilized quickly for emergency actions.

Hub For Collective Organizing and Communication

Volunteer Services from people in the medical, psychological, holistic healing, counseling services, legal services, occupational therapy etc, providing everything from therapy to drug counseling, stress relief workshops, to legal guidance/advice.

Extensive garden for therapeutic, education, skill building, and food production purposes

Once our community center is established and running effectively we will be reaching out to communities to share our organizations model. So others can adapt this model to the needs, wants, specifications and desires of their communities.

Sustainability Efforts:
Comprehensive Gray Water system, water from showers, dishes, laundry etc.
Solar Showers
Composting Toilets
Eventually a solar pv system but due to cost will be a longer term project
Bike generators: both standing bike generator systems as well as mobile bike generator systems
Depending on whether we are retrofitting a building or building from scratch we are going to explore the cost and efficiency of a geothermal system
For all accessory buildings or any building we will need to construct we will be using earth ship building techniques including clay and glass bottle buildings and straw bale houses, we will also be researching the energy efficiency of yurts
We will be exploring and researching all methods of sustainable building.
We will also be as much as possible sourcing building materials from the New Paltz Reuse Center and other upcycled sources.

Our current projects in addition to raising money for a community center:

Catalyst- De Facto Community Center Project Podcast
Episode 1  Reclaiming the Commons, Public Property, Private Property and its Discontents  -
Episode 2   Don't Tell Me To Smile: Sexism & Male Privilege in Professional, Social and Personal Life
Episode 3  Black Lives Matter / Mass Incarceration

We have issued 4 volumes of our De Facto Zine available at Inquiring Minds and Barner Books Bookstore in New Paltz, NY and Half Moon Books In Kingston, NY.

Volunteering on sustainability and zero waste projects at the New Paltz Reuse and Recycling Center including a regional food recovery initiative, reducing food waste to feed people in need. 

Weekly Food Not Bombs Free Community Meal every Wednesday at 5pm.

Free Community Guerilla Pocket Gardens.
We have sets of little pocket gardens in 5 locations currently. Hasbrouck Park, Moriello Park, Sojourner Truth Park, on the Spring town Rd Bridge over the wall kill on the rail trail and along the rail trail near water street market in New Paltz, NY

Free Library! 
(converting broken mini-fridges [with freon professionally removed] into little free community libraries)
We currently have little free libraries at Moriello Pool and on the wooden bridge near Spring town road on the rail trail towards Rosendale. They have been working great! Books are staying dry and people are taking and donating books. We have had wonderful feedback from the community!

Organizing an Annual Holiday Craft Fair with local vendors providing  handmade alternatives to gifts from malls and box stores.  We also keep the vendor cost very low,  just enough to cover refreshments and publisizing so as to not be cost prohibitive to any vendors and keep gifts affordable for the community. 

We also sell handmade gift items at the New Paltz Open Air Market during the summer on Sundays as well as at other events. 

Developing an extensive network of local, national and eventually global groups and organizations that are doing great work. 

Coordinating Community Service Opportunities 

Coordinating Advocacy and Direct Action Opportunities


Amanda Sisenstein
Kingston, NY

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