NORTH CAROLINA: Urban Ministries of Durham provides gamut of services to the poor, hungry and homeless

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October 19, 2012

Urban Ministries of Durham has a long history in the downtown Durham community, and it’s intricately linked to Jubilee Ministry.

With leadership from area faith communities, including Episcopal churches, the Urban Ministries Center was founded in 1983 as a host site for area service organizations, including St. Philip’s Community Kitchen, a ministry to the hungry founded by St. Philip’s Episcopal Church of Durham.  The Durham Community Shelter for HOPE was next door.

In 2001, the Community Kitchen, the Shelter for HOPE, and the United Methodist Mission Society merged to form Urban Ministries of Durham. Today, the center runs a gamut of programs to meet the needs of the poor, the hungry and the homeless.

Among them:

  • UMD’s Community Shelter has 81 beds for men, 30 for women and nine family rooms for parents and their children, for a total of 149 beds – plus an overflow section is opened on cold nights. Most beds are filled every night. In addition to providing emergency overnight shelter, UMD’s Journey Program provides longer-term shelter, a structured approach to recovery and case management for up to 400 individuals per year.
  • The Community Café serves three meals a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to shelter residents and anyone else in need of a meal. Volunteers provide over 90% of the labor to prepare the meals and community partners donate over 90% of the food. Last year, the café served an average of 600 meals per day.
  • The Community Food Pantry and clothing closet addresses the basic needs of guests. Last year, the pantry distributed nearly 90,000 pounds of food, and the closet gave away nearly 42,000 items of clothing. Together, they serve about 450 individuals per month.
  • The Hope-Believe Recovery program is a key component of UMD’s Journey Program. It is an intensive six-month live-in drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for adult homeless men and women. Modeled after a 12-Step Alcoholics Anonymous program, participants also receive case management support and connections to housing and employment services.
  • The Bread for the Journey program seeks to meet the need for spiritual and pastoral care during times of homelessness and need. Offerings include non-denominational prayer services, support groups and opportunities for fellowship and community building.