The root cellar engages neighbors and volunteers to cultivate social, economic and spiritual wholeness as part of God's Kingdom

We believe that god has placed us in the urban centers of Maine's largest cities and that he is empowering, uniting, and transforming our neighborhoods through the love of Christ.

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Our values


In the way of Jesus, we create a culture of…


We are hospitable to all people.


We act when we see injustice, pain or need among our neighbors.

Shalom (God’s Peace)

We join God in His work of reconciliation; seeing that which is broken redeemed to new life.


We empower one another, humbly growing together as we rely on each others strengths.

God’s Kingdom

We seek to see God’s Kingdom come and His will be done in our neighborhoods as it is in heaven.


Our statement of faith

The Board and staff of The Root Cellar do our best to love and serve Jesus. The Root Cellar subscribes to the historic Apostles' Creed.


This is us

The Root Cellar is more than an organization. It is an ever expanding group of neighbors, volunteers, staff and donors. Each of us dedicated to building neighborhoods where all are welcome, valued and experience true peace.

We need all the help we can get - join us, and let’s get to work!


Our history

The Root Cellar was established in 1984 in a dirt floor church basement in Portland, Maine. Recognizing the need for a place where teens could come as an alternative to the streets, and in some cases their homes. Christian volunteers provided a positive place where the area youth could drop in for food, games and friendship.

Over the next decade, programs for kids and adults began to take shape as The Root Cellar became an independent non profit organization supported by volunteers from multiple area churches and denominations.  

In 2001, completion of a brand new facility at 94 Washington Ave. in Portland enabled the organization to properly host the dozens of programs offered as well as allow for new program ideas. 

In 2009, The Root Cellar opened a second site in Lewiston - Maine's 2nd largest city. Located in the heart of the residential downtown neighborhoods, our Lewiston site continues to grow and respond to the needs of one of Maine’s most impoverished - but hopeful - communities.

After 35 years of hard work and determination, The Root Cellar is as committed as ever to serving and loving our neighbors in Lewiston and Portland.


collaborating partners

These partner agencies are essential to accomplishing our mission, from the day to day operations to big picture endeavors in our cities. We are so thankful to work alongside each of them.

Leadership Foundations of AMerica

We have partnered with LF since 2013. They have been integral in helping to establishing our Youth Mentoring Program in Lewiston and Portland. This network of local organizations has deeply impacted our program and staff capacity. 


Food Security for America

Food Security for America has been a strong partner and guide in developing our FANN groups in Portland and Lewiston. They create communities across America called Food Security Groups where struggling families can have their need for nutritious food met, learn about nutrition and healthy lifestyles, and receive the support of friends – friends on whom they can lean when times get tough and with whom they can celebrate the joys of life.


Christian Community Development Association

We joined CCDA in 2018, recognizing the overlap of our work and the expertise that they bring to communities across the country. CCDA’s principles highly impact our work and vision for the future of the neighborhoods of Portland and Lewiston.


Good Shepherd Food Bank

We are so thankful for our friends at GSFB. Their tireless pursuit of ending hunger in our state supports our youth programs, summer day camps, Friends and Neighbors Networks, and emergency food services.


Healthy Neighborhoods Network

We have been partnering with this amazing group for the past few years, and have loved collaborating with them to “Grow Our Tree Streets.” Healthy Neighborhoods Network is a group of community focused people transforming the Tree Streets Neighborhood of Lewiston, Maine.

Other Partners & Collaborators