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

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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Jun 25, 2014

We need new underwear.

Amazon.com Universal Wishlist for Urban Ministries of Durham.

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Jun 15, 2014

These jammies are unstylish and cozy, just like dad's.

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Jun 14, 2014

Honor your dad for teaching you how to survive a close shave.

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Jun 13, 2014

Did your dad carry a jagged tangle of keys? Honor him by helping a homeless man at UMD get his first -- the key to his own apartment.

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Jun 12, 2014

Name this ladle after dad, and he'll be the quiet hero of Chili Night in the UMD Cafe.

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Jun 11, 2014

Show your dad he gave you the power to help others.

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Jun 05, 2014

People loved the bag lunch examples earlier this week.

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Jun 04, 2014

Urban Ministries of Durham shared ABC11 WTVD's photo.

Happy ending -- thanks, Huggies! Many of the stolen diapers were to be shared with Urban Ministries of Durham for our Food Pantry/Clothing Closet clients.

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Jun 03, 2014

Urban Ministries of Durham updated their cover photo.

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Jun 03, 2014

The Congregation at Duke Chapel this weekend tried a new idea to help encourage clients of our Community Cafe -- they wrote encouraging messages on these brown paper lunch bags.

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May 28, 2014

Quick quiz: Know what Txakoli is? It's pretty much the perfect summer wine.

TxakoliFest is to Six Plates what St.

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May 20, 2014

Very nice blog post by Urban Durham Realty's Lou Perron about the firm's contributions through UMD to help very poor and homeless neighbors and build a stronger community.

Part of what we do at Urban Durham Realty is to help support local nonprofits.

UMD offers FOOD, SHELTER AND A FUTURE to neighbors in need | Urban Durham RealtyView this post on Facebook

May 15, 2014

Is that a well-worn concert tee underneath your business suit? Does your briefcase go into the backseat next to your guitar case? Battle of the Bands 2014 is your chance to rock the American Tobacco stage under the Lucky Strike tower to give food, shelter and a future to very poor and homeless neighbors.

Today, McKinney announces the 2014 Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands.

McKinney calls all corporate rockers to the 2014 Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands — McKinneyView this post on Facebook

May 15, 2014

Urban Ministries of Durham has received word of our largest single contribution, a bequest of $100,000 from Ben Ward.

We are compiling information about Ben Ward's life.

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