Christmas is a time of giving. One of the great gifts of the North Alabama Conference is Urban Ministry. This year we celebrated the 35th Anniversary of this vital ministry to the community (West Birmingham) that has the lowest median income in the entire state with a poverty rate of over 40%. Urban Ministry serves more than 7000 each year through the Community Kitchen, Food Pantry, Homelessness Prevention and Emergency Services programs. Then there’s the Urban Kids after-school and summer learning program, the Joe Rush Center for Urban Mission (which offers exterior house painting), and West End Community Gardens (17,000 volunteer hours were given by people this year!).
Since 2010, Urban Ministry has offered Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing, a new program under the care of social worker Jeff Bowman. Jeff administered approximately $90,000 this year to assist families at risk of homelessness with rent, utilities, and housing, helping more than 250 individuals avoid homelessness and achieve long-term housing stability.
Visit www.urban-ministry.organd you will see all the good that is being done in the name of Christ and our church.
As you can imagine, this has been one of the toughest years ever in finding funds for Urban Ministry. Our new director, Rev. Melissa Patrick, has been cultivating Urban Ministry’s friends and supporters in a wonderful way. Most of the people served by Urban Ministry didn’t need to be hit by the spring storms to be in dire straits; they were living on the edge of desperation long before the storms without anyone to help except Urban Ministry.
This Christmas please join Patsy and me in sending a gift to Urban Ministry. You can be sure that your gift will be used wisely and widely by an accountable, proven ministry, one of the best creations of our Conference and one of the best ways to show our active compassion for our sisters and brothers at this sacred time of the year.
Urban Ministry, Inc., 1229 Cotton Ave., S.W., Birmingham, AL 35211.
Call (205) 781-0517