Mission & History


Our mission is to meet emergency needs for food, clothing, and shelter; and to help those who are homeless secure a home and the resources to stay there. 

Core values

Urban Ministries of Durham is committed to offering a service environment that is based on:


We value individual diversity and foster dignity through the belief in each person's abilities.

Because we believe in the inherent dignity of all people, we don't turn away anyone who walks through our doors due to race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual or political orientation. 


We value supportive programs to advance education, establish more stable living situations, prepare for job-readiness, and strengthen recovery.


We build community partnerships to find long-term solutions toward the goal of eradicating extreme poverty.

We are committed to living out our core values in all our interactions with our clients, each other, and the community.


Urban Ministries of Durham has a very long history in the downtown Durham Community. With leadership from area faith communities, the Urban Ministries Center was founded in 1983 as a host site for area service organizations.  The Durham Community Shelter for HOPE was next door. In 2001, the Durham Community Shelter for HOPE, St. Philip’s Community Cafe, and the United Methodist Mission Society merged to form Urban Ministries of Durham.

Since 2001, UMD has operated using the entire Urban Ministries Center and the Community Shelter facility next to it, to comprehensively address the emergency needs of the poor, hungry, and homeless in Durham, North Carolina.

News & Needs

Apr 24, 2014

The Washington Post reports on how much a person would need to earn per hour in each county in the United States to afford a one-bedroom apartment with a full-time job.

One-bedroom housing wages, by county.

View this post on Facebook

Apr 21, 2014

It's National Community Development Week in Durham - showcasing positive impacts of federal funding programs.

The City of Durham is joining other communities across the country in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) program with a week of events planned to showcase the positive impacts in Durham.

City of Durham - News and Noteworthy DetailsView this post on Facebook

Apr 16, 2014

Several members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Gamma Beta Chapter, are sleeping outdoors on the campus of NC Central University this week to better understand, draw attention to and raise support for the needs of their homeless neighbors.

View this post on Facebook

Apr 15, 2014

A powerful collaboration between Judea Reform, Beth El Synagogue and Kol Haskalah is making a difference in the lives of our poor and homeless neighbors.

View this post on Facebook

Apr 14, 2014

Bronto shows how companies can help their neighbors and community, all while making for a more satisfying place to work.

I had the pleasure of facilitating a community event between the Bronto Sales team and Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD).

500 Lunch Bags Packed for Urban Ministries of Durham!View this post on Facebook

Apr 11, 2014

Thank you to our friends in Catholic Daughters of the Americas - Court Durham and Immaculate Conception Church for your recent donation of Souper Bowl funds and toiletries for the Food Pantry.

View this post on Facebook

Apr 08, 2014

What a great honor for NamesForChange.org to be nominated for the prestigious Webby award.

Vote with me! – April 8th–24th.

Who should win a Webby for Web / Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit? Vote now.View this post on Facebook

Apr 03, 2014

Despite the construction, we continue to make room in our Resource Center building for activities that help shelter clients end their homelessness.

View this post on Facebook

Mar 28, 2014

It's the good kind of mess! We're doing about $500,000 in high-priority renovations, thanks to the generosity of community partners.

View this post on Facebook

Mar 25, 2014

Which do you think is more expensive? Paying to house the homeless, or doing nothing? UNC-Charlotte documents that doing nothing is vastly more expensive.

It's cheaper to give homeless men and women a permanent place to live than to leave them on the streets.

It's Actually Cheaper To House The Homeless Than To Leave Them On The StreetsView this post on Facebook

Mar 23, 2014

Help us get this $5,000 grant.

We need your vote...less than 1% separates us from the lead.

Housing for New HopeView this post on Facebook

Mar 20, 2014

It's really close! We need your vote for Housing for New Hope, our partner agency, on this webpage in the Community Development category, to secure $5,000 for rapid rehousing for homeless neighbors.

As part of the What Matters Community Luncheon, we are excited to present four $5,000 awards recognizing innovation in the Triangle region.

View this post on Facebook

Mar 18, 2014

This New York Times story aptly highlights the difficulty minimum-wage earners have escaping poverty, no matter how hard they might work.

For those at the low end of the hourly wage scale, even meeting basic household needs can be a stretch, and roads out of poverty are scarce.

Low-Wage Workers Finding It’s Easier to Fall Into Poverty, and Harder to Get OutView this post on Facebook

Mar 17, 2014

Great news -- a coalition that UMD is a part of is a finalist for a $5,000 innovation award.

As part of the What Matters Community Luncheon, we are excited to present four $5,000 awards recognizing innovation in the Triangle region.

Triangle Community Foundation | Grants & SupportView this post on Facebook

Mar 17, 2014

Thank you to our great friends at Vert & Vogue for holding UMD Day Saturday to celebrate their spring collection and making a wonderful cash donation to UMD.

View this post on Facebook

Mar 14, 2014

It's Pi Day 2014! Will you celebrate by putting your name on a piece of pie we'll serve to your poor and homeless neighbors? https://t.co/R2l23YJ0aV.

Urban Ministries of Durham is selling the naming rights to all of the items that connect our clients to food, shelter and a future.

Fight homelessness with this PieView this post on Facebook

Mar 14, 2014

America knows exactly how to end chronic homelessness, and cities across the U.S.

Ending chronic homelessness seems to be going viral.

Momentum Grows for Ending Chronic HomelessnessView this post on Facebook
Get Hope in your Inbox - Read and subscribe to our newsletter