Mission & History


We connect with the community to end homelessness and fight poverty by offering food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need.

Core values

Urban Ministries of Durham is committed to offering a service environment that is based on:


We believe in the inherent dignity and value of all people and believe no one's basic human needs should go unmet. We work to recognize and value each person's strengths and abilities and to welcome and care for people across the diversity of race, gender, religious beliefs and non-belief, and sexual and political orientation.


Recognizing that each person is in charge of their own life, we listen closely, work in partnership and support the ways that those in need help one other. We work in concert with many other organizations to end homelessness and extreme poverty. We believe we all benefit when we use resources efficiently, work as a team, and move forward together.


Each person owns the successes and setbacks that result from their choices. We expect each other to live up to the commitments we have made and the goals we have set. We remind everyone in the community of each person's connection to all their neighbors and the duty to make our community more equitable.


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.

Non-discrimination policy

As a recipient of Federal, State, and local government financial assistance, and as a matter of policy and principle, Urban Ministries of Durham does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any client, volunteer or employee on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by Urban Ministries of Durham directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which Urban Ministries of Durham arranges to carry out its programs and activities. Urban Ministries of Durham is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

UMD is committed to compliance with all applicable provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued pursuant to these statutes at Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 80, 84, and 91, as well as all applicablestate and local government laws and regulations pertaining to nondiscrimination.