LIGHT THE FLAME: Songs of Faith & Solidarity

It was a rainy day in March 2012 when Andrew Harvey, Chris Saade and several participants from their International Academy of Sacred Leadership (IASL) gathered at the Urban Ministry Center to host a lunchtime music event.  During the open mic, held in the small computer room adjacent to the dining room, several UMC neighbors stepped up and shared their talent.

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 …

How 58 Personal Questions Changed Many Lives

Last month (January 29-31), the Urban Ministry Center had the privilege of helping lead our community’s largest effort to identify chronically homeless and unsheltered individuals.  With the help of more than 250 volunteers assigned to 29 teams spread throughout the county, we combined the annual “Point in Time,” during which our community literally counts the number of people sleeping outside, …

WIDWID: Why I Do What I Do

  Why this place?  Why these people?  Why me?  One of my favorite projects this year was collecting first-person reflections from volunteers, staff and board members of the Urban Ministry Center.   Liz Peralta Development Team, UMC “When I was a volunteer here, a neighbor asked if I would call his children’s doctor.  I invited him to use my phone …

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 …

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 …

Moore Place Success Captures National, Local Headlines

When doing the right thing saves millions of dollars, that’s a local story powerful enough to capture the attention of the national media. On March 24, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte released a study of the one-year impact of supportive housing on the lives of chronically homeless people. Focusing on the 85 residents of Urban Ministry’s Moore Place, …

Encouraging Good Health and Creativity in the Kitchen

Spaghetti with fried zucchini, tortilla soup, and pumpkin lasagna are among the favorite dishes made in the monthly Moore Place cooking class, but today it’s a little holiday spirit that’s bringing out the creativity in each participant. I sat in on the December 14 class dedicated to that iconic holiday tradition of decorating cookies, and found an adventurous group dedicated …

Room In The Inn Provides Launching Pad for Family

Room In The Inn (RITI) has just resumed for the 2013-14 season. Founded in 1996, Urban Ministry Center coordinates RITI during the coldest months of each year, providing emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness. The program relies on the time, talent and resources of nearly 5,000 volunteers from 130 houses of faith, YMCA’s, colleges, and other organizations. It’s one of …