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 or non-belief, sexual or political orientation. 


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


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.


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

Sep 05, 2014

We're tuning up for Battle of the Bands on Sept.

Wool E Bull wants you to come to the Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands Sept.

Wool E Bull wants you to come to the Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands Sept. 20 at American Tobacco Campus to support Urban Ministries of Durham.View this post on Facebook

Aug 29, 2014

Many thanks to the 4th grade class at Voyager Academy Elementary School for organizing a school-wide food drive for UMD.

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Aug 27, 2014

This year’s Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands ends homelessness through the power of rock ‘n’ roll.

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Aug 25, 2014

Durham is the 10th most caring city in the U.S.

Durham is the tenth most caring city in the U.S., according to real estate blog Movoto.

Durham is No. 10 most caring city in the U.S. - Triangle Business JournalView this post on Facebook

Aug 18, 2014

Do you remember our friend Luna and her "acts of kindness" wheel? Well, it's been featured on CBS news! If you look closely you can see UMD's information board in a piece of the segment.

Steve Hartman reconnects with Chris Rosati, a man who has devoted the rest of his life to encouraging others to commit acts of kindness.

ALS patient devotes life to random acts of kindnessView this post on Facebook

Aug 13, 2014

Yesterday, the truck delivered a commercial refrigerator purchased by a generous person from the community to use in our Food Pantry.

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Aug 11, 2014

Ramkrishna Vedanta Society -- “Serving UMD is the best thing that ever happened to this organization.” On May 5, 2013, the Ramkrishna Vedanta Society of North Carolina served lunch for the first time and has continued to do so every other month on the first Sunday.

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Aug 08, 2014

Our neighbors from St Philip's Episcopal Church lent a helping hand yesterday morning in the Food Pantry to prepare grocery bags for our very poor and homeless neighbors.

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Aug 07, 2014

Leoneda Inge of North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC writes about the new version of our online game about surviving poverty, SPENT, which plays on tablets and smartphones as well as PCs.

In 2011, a new videogame premiered that not many expected would be a hit.

'SPENT', Hit Game About Money And Resources, Goes MobileView this post on Facebook

Jul 26, 2014

Happy 25th Anniversary to Merge Records, which named this stove at UMD to keep it cookin' with gas for our neighbors.

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Jul 23, 2014

Guess who? A surprise visit from Benson Memorial UMC Church in Raleigh! These youths arrived with over 1,000 lbs of food and re-stocked our Food Pantry shelves, which get dangerously empty this time of year.

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Jul 20, 2014

This group of teenage friends got together on Monday afternoon at one girl's home to write inspirational messages on bags for lunches to be handed out in the UMD Community Cafe.

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Jul 18, 2014

Think about your grocery list and what’s most essential for you and your family: Socks and underwear, breakfast cereal, soap, toilet paper or even feminine hygiene products probably come to mind.

Amazon.com Universal Wishlist for Urban Ministries of Durham.

Amazon.com: Urban Ministries of Durham: UMD wish listView this post on Facebook

Jul 10, 2014

Come take part in a cool thing happening now at The Streets at Southpoint center court: 12-year-old Luna, in this video, persuaded Inspire Media to bankroll her project to spread happiness.

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Jul 05, 2014

Renee Corsi, her husband, dog and cat relocated to Durham from Cleveland in 2009.

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Jul 03, 2014

Lauren Goslin and her family were victims of Katrina.

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Jul 01, 2014

It's a season of transitions: Jean Mrosla (striped shirt, middle of front row) "retires" after 16 years volunteering in the UMD Food Pantry with Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

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Jun 30, 2014

Exciting! The first packages from our Amazon wish list have begun to arrive -- will you purchase something to keep it going? Here is an update on where we are versus our goals for particular items: girls' size 6 briefs, 2 packages out of 100.

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