Help Urban Ministry Center win $50,000
Posted on 26 Apr 2012 by Amy
It’s been over 10 years since my family began volunteering with Room in the Inn, a program that houses
the homeless at area churches during the winter months. I have also helped with a Christmas Eve
homeless outreach event just outside the gates of the Urban Ministry Center, but I had never actually
been to the Center and seen all that happens there before being referred there as I sought a community
house project for a large grant from a mystery sponsor.
Yes, the Urban Ministry Center is a busy place with over 400 people coming through its doors daily to
take a shower, pick up mail, wash laundry, visit with a nurse, eat a meal, or speak with a counselor,
but the heart of the Center is its array of programs that focus on connecting neighbor to neighbor.
Volunteers from the community at large come to the center to teach art, coach street soccer, teach
gardening at the community garden, lead a community choir, or hold counseling groups. These
innovative programs have received national recognition and are now being modeled across the country.
In the art program alone, over 300 participants have been involved in painting, ceramics, photography
and writing classes inspiring many to re-attain self-sufficiency. Sales from the art shows have grossed
almost $50,000 to date. The StreetSoccer 945 team has represented the United States at the Homeless
World Cup for the past three years, and 75% of team members have moved off the streets. The organic
vegetable garden has added fresh nutritious food to Urban Ministry’s soup kitchen, with harvests
bountiful enough to also sell at local farmers’ markets.
The astonishing success of these programs and the need to renovate the depot building to better suit
the CommunityWorks program is what spoke to the heart of the Rebuilding Together of the Carolina’s
board of directors when they decided to nominate the Urban Ministry Center for the Maxwell House
Drops of Good $50,000 Makeover. Maxwell House and Rebuilding Together desire to bring change to
communities in need and also inspire hope from the ground up so the Urban Ministry Center was the
perfect fit as they focus on giving hope for a new life to the homeless in Charlotte.
As one of 10 community centers selected from across the nation, Urban Ministry Center will compete
for a $50,000 makeover to be awarded to the top 3 vote getters in a nationwide voting campaign. This is
where we need your help to win!
• Vote for Urban Ministry Center in the Drops of Good contest at www.maxwellhouse.com.
• Vote today and every day through June 8, 2012.
• Ask your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to vote every day.
• Votes are calculated by unique email addresses, so everyone can vote each day with personal and
business email address. Email addresses will be counted but not used or shared in any way.
• Post messages about the project on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
“The impact of this grant would be tremendous on our ability to grow these programs,” says Trish Fries,
Community Development Manager for Urban Ministry Center. “It will allow us to remake our Art Studio,
grow our Gardening program, and reduce current program costs through improved energy efficiency of