Mission & History

Mission

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:

Respect

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 or non-belief, sexual or political orientation. 

Support

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

Collaboration

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

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

History

Urban Ministries of Durham has a 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 as a campus, using both the Resource Center at Liberty and Queen streets and the Community Shelter at Liberty and Dillard streets to comprehensively address the emergency needs of the poor, hungry, and homeless in Durham, North Carolina.

News & Needs

Mar 20, 2015

Today, we're pleased to announce UMD has been awarded a $7,500 grant from BJ's Charitable Foundation of BJ's Wholesale Club! $6,500 will go toward preparing meals in the Community Cafe three times a day to anyone in the community who needs it and $1,000 toward the purchase of bus passes for Journey Program clients staying in the Community Shelter.

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Mar 17, 2015

Saturday, two faith communities, Immaculate Conception Church and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Chapel Hill, spent the afternoon working together to sort clothes in the UMD Clothing Closet, which serves 480 families per month! Thank you and all the congregations that help for all your hard work!

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Mar 09, 2015

A great selfie taken by our esteemed soup judges and excellent emcees Lowdown Show having fun at Empty Bowls! Thank you for sharing your time and talent to help your neighbors.

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Mar 06, 2015

Many of you will remember that murdered UNC-CH graduate dentistry student Deah Barakat had volunteered to help homeless people with dental needs at Urban Ministries of Durham shortly before his senseless murder last month.

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Mar 05, 2015

Okay, y'all, don't worry.

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Mar 04, 2015

Empty Bowls is filling up -- Regular Soup+Bowl and soup-only tickets remain available.

Join us to fill empty bowls with hope! Empty Bowls is the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, the private, non-sectarian downtown charity that provides food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need, ending homelessness for 289 people in a single year.

United Therapeutics presents Empty Bowls 2015 to benefit Urban Ministries of DurhamView this post on Facebook

Feb 27, 2015

Our Empty Bowls event is this Thursday in downtown Durham! This is a Premier ticket bowl, a turned wooden creation by Steve Criscenzo.

Join us to fill empty bowls with hope! Empty Bowls is the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, the private, non-sectarian downtown charity that provides food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need, ending homelessness for 289 people in a single year.

United Therapeutics presents Empty Bowls 2015 to benefit Urban Ministries of DurhamView this post on Facebook

Feb 23, 2015

Durham's the foodiest small city in the South, and all her finest chefs are making their signature soups for you to try.

Join us to fill empty bowls with hope! Empty Bowls is the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, the private, non-sectarian downtown charity that provides food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need, ending homelessness for 289 people in a single year.

United Therapeutics presents Empty Bowls 2015 to benefit Urban Ministries of DurhamView this post on Facebook

Feb 20, 2015

Come to Empty Bowls, March 5 at Durham Convention Center.

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Feb 19, 2015

Urban Ministries of Durham created an event.

Join us to fill empty bowls with hope.

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Feb 18, 2015

Today's weather putting you in the mood for some soup? It's the perfect day to buy your tickets to sample 12 by top Triangle chefs the evening of March 5 at Durham Convention Center.

Join us to fill empty bowls with hope! Empty Bowls is the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, the private, non-sectarian downtown charity that provides food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need, ending homelessness for 289 people in a single year.

United Therapeutics presents Empty Bowls 2015 to benefit Urban Ministries of DurhamView this post on Facebook

Feb 17, 2015

Urban Ministries of Durham added 4 new photos.

The weather outside is downright dangerous, but that only makes the community's efforts to offer food, shelter and a future through Urban Ministries of Durham even more important.

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Feb 06, 2015

Urban Ministries of Durham Executive Director Patrice Nelson is featured in the Conversations at Fletcher interview series.

Patrice Nelson, Urban Ministries Durham Nov 25, 2014 http://ajf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Patrice-Nelson-Podcast.mp3 Patrice Nelson, the executive director of Urban Ministries Durham, joins us for an earnest discussion about homelessness.

Patrice Nelson, Urban Ministries Durham | A.J. Fletcher FoundationView this post on Facebook

Feb 03, 2015

Be a philanthropist and a romantic this Valentine's day and call on Heart Of Carolina Chorus to help neighbors in need and surprise your valentine with a sweet serenade.

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Feb 02, 2015

Urban Ministries of Durham added 5 new photos.

Ooooh -- a sneak peek at beautiful Empty Bowls bowls in progress at Claymakers Arts Community.

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Jan 30, 2015

Can we talk? The New York Times discusses a hard-to-discuss problem we seek to address here at Urban Ministries of Durham: Poor and homeless women's lack of feminine hygiene products, which can cause not just distress but a host of other difficulties, including missing school and work.

For women living in poverty, the cost of feminine hygiene products is yet another burden on an already stretched budget.

Helping Women and Girls. Period.View this post on Facebook

Jan 23, 2015

Soup's on! Our 9th annual Empty Bowls event will be Thursday March 5 at the Durham Convention Center.

Join us to fill empty bowls with hope! Empty Bowls is the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, the private, non-sectarian downtown charity that provides food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need, ending homelessness for 289 people in a single year.

United Therapeutics presents Empty Bowls 2015 to benefit Urban Ministries of DurhamView this post on Facebook

Jan 20, 2015

In addition to the support of the Alpha Zeta Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority provided us on Monday, other community groups and individuals came together to honor Dr.

MomsRising organized an event at Northgate Mall to teach children about the civil rights movement.

MLK Day event teaches youth about Civil Rights MovementView this post on Facebook

Jan 06, 2015

Urban Ministries of Durham added 4 new photos.

The Forest at Duke always arrives to volunteer with huge smiles on their faces.

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Jan 05, 2015

Do you like round numbers? Ones like $70,000? As of this post, we're just $141 short of that milestone on namesforchange.org.

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

It's just stuff…until you don't have it.View this post on Facebook

Jan 02, 2015

The road to ending homelessness requires a driver’s license. Without an ID, you can’t get a job or rent an apartment.

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 IDView this post on Facebook

Dec 31, 2014

Let’s start the year on the right foot.

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 Interview OutfitView this post on Facebook

Dec 29, 2014

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. On days like this we want to make sure everyone has the right clothing.

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 Winter CoatView this post on Facebook