Staff Spotlight on Outreach Team – Adam Calderone

Over the next several weeks, the Urban Ministry Center blog will feature stories about our staff members and the excellent work they do. We hope you enjoy learning about our team members and what they love about UMC. Four years ago Adam Calderone was a college student studying political science at UConn, thinking about law school. Today he is an …

The Voices of Room in the Inn

Urban Ministry Center’s Room in the Inn program is entering its final month of the season. The Room in the Inn (RITI) program began in 1996 with a goal of providing a warm, safe, and dry place for Mecklenburg County’s homeless population during Charlotte’s coldest months – December through March. Over 130 area churches and colleges throughout the Charlotte area …

HousingFest and Stories of Housing

As a VISTA Volunteer, I work on events for the development team at the Urban Ministry Center, and I am usually tucked away in an office with spreadsheets and press releases. But every morning during check in, I get the chance to be with our neighbors, and to be reminded of the purpose of all the fundraising we do in …

Point in Time Count Offers Opportunity to Engage

I saw him sitting on the stairs of the Epicenter, uncontrollably shaking and holding a cup out for money. I had never seen him before. As my Point in Time count team approached, he barely glanced up. “Good morning, my name is Allison and I work for Urban Ministry Center’s outreach team. We’re out checking on people who may have …

Special Year for Homeless World Cup

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of coaching the Street Soccer U.S.A. national team at the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow, Scotland.  It is always an amazing experience being at the Homeless World Cup, but this year was a little more special.  For the first time, the U.S.A. team was able to implement a curriculum called the B.A.L.L program.  …

Neighbor To Neighbor Program: Moving Beyond Housing Retention

What do people need most when they settle into housing after experiencing long periods of homelessness? For someone utilizing services at the Urban Ministry Center main campus, those needs can often be easier to identify. They need a hot lunch, an ID, a shower. For an individual moving off the streets and into permanent housing, those needs can be harder …

Celebrating Moore Place Expansion

On Wednesday, June 15, Moore Place opened 35 new apartments to house chronically homeless citizens of Charlotte. These remarks are from that celebration. Thanks to Rachel Fesko for photographing the event. Good morning! My name is Caroline Chambre Hammock, and I serve as the Associate Executive Director for the Urban Ministry Center. In 2012, I had the great pleasure of welcoming you …

Room In The Inn Volunteers Make a Difference

As the brand new “Inn Keeper” for Room In The Inn, I have been truly overwhelmed with the generosity and compassion that our community provides to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Room In The Inn is Urban Ministry Center’s emergency shelter program which operates each winter, December – March, since 1996. This past season I was privileged to organize 132 participants …

Hot Soup and Hospitality

The foundation of our organization, the Soup Kitchen, embodies our mission like no other. It truly brings the community together to serve our homeless neighbors and it provides an environment of trust and relationship building to end homelessness. No Barriers A primary tenet of Urban Ministry Center is to offer programs with very low or no barriers to service. Literally …

Sharing Blessings with the Honor Card

Many nonprofits have holiday honor cards like Urban Ministry Center, but we think we may have one of the oldest traditions of production. We began offering them as a beautiful way to acknowledge honor gifts in 1999, when artist Ingrid Amol’s sketched our beloved Train Depot. As a volunteer, Ingrid helped create the ArtWorks 945 program, and in 2002 we …

Annual Survey Gives Snapshot of our Neighbors

Blog post by Liz Clasen-Kelly with Trish Fries Each year since 2010, Urban Ministry Center has taken one day (usually in September or October) to collect information on the neighbors visiting our main campus at 945 N College St. This year we conducted the survey on a cool Monday morning in October. Here are a few observations. Overall decrease: 432 …

Street Soccer Stars Shine Despite Homelessness

They called him, “Captain America.” Street Soccer 945 player, Thomas Yon, stood proud in a patriotic jersey, branded with the infamous star-centered shield as he defended the goal for the United States at the 13th Annual Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam two weeks ago. Thomas joined eight other U.S. team members, both male and female, at this eight day, international …

Final Report, 19th season of Room In The Inn

    This season continued a trend we’ve seen over the past few seasons: we had virtually the same number of hosts, neighbors, and beds as we had last year the evening teams welcomed new folks and handled their tasks – including the “dueling computers” at each check-in station – with efficiency and a remarkable spirit the hosts graciously welcomed …

HousingWorks Tenants Give Back

As a member of the HousingWorks team, I’ve had many opportunities to witness transformations that are nothing short of miraculous.  We have seen tenants experience dramatic improvements in health, mental wellbeing, and familial relationships.  Often, these changes develop rapidly when individuals gain the safety and stability of housing.  The contrast between a life of survival and a life of stability …

5 Needs of Our Neighbors

My volunteering work at The Urban Ministry began in 2009 after my retirement. The Urban Ministry’s work with the homeless was always of great interest to me, primarily because my volunteering efforts to that point were limited to board work of various non-profits devoted to homeless children. Working with the homeless one on one was something I had always wanted …

250 Shots at Helping the Disadvantaged

Making an impact on one individual’s life is a fulfilling thing. It can pleasantly linger in someone’s memory for decades depending on the situation and what was accomplished. Each year has roughly 250 work days in it, so last year the VISTA program allowed me 250 opportunities to strongly impact individuals’ lives. During the last 12 months I served as …

The Search for Home

And for you, dear reader, may these words inspire you to kindle Kingdom-building ventures wherever you may go, and to join with your neighbors in welcoming the most vulnerable among us to their homes. This is a small excerpt from Elizabeth’s “Stories from Moore Place: The Search for Home.” We can guarantee that time spent reading the entire 8 pages …

CommunityWorks 945: Renovations from the Inside Out

CommunityWorks 945 is excited to be back to our usual programming in our newly renovated space. It is now equipped with a conference room, ample office space, a washer/dryer for Running Works, and Street Soccer equipment. I, for one, especially appreciate the new washer/dryer since the smell of runners’ and soccer players’ equipment affects the freshness of my workspace. But …

18th Season of Room In The Inn Comes to a Close

The 18th season of Room In The Inn (RITI) ended on March 31, the first nice, warm day in a while – a fitting ending to a season notable in part for harsh weather. The season was also notable for its consistency – we had virtually the same number of hosts, neighbors, and beds as we had last year (more …