Community Education

Ways we help

Community Education

Our mission includes community education, both onsite and out in the community – it’s an important part of what we do. We’ve learned a lot about poverty and homelessness in our 20 years, and we’d like to share it with you and your friends, your place of worship, your business and with others in the human service field in Charlotte. We hope one of our many flexible formats meets your needs.

Elementary School to Adult Education

My Name is Rachel or My Name is John

These exercises use the real-life stories of Rachel and John to examine the responsibility we have to help our homeless neighbors. By analyzing a homeless individual’s biography and discussing each situation step by step, these programs help the participants better understand the circumstances of the homeless and, more importantly, how we can help. Coordinate to have these 60-90 minute programs to be held at UMC or at your location.

Walk in My Shoes
During this simulation, each group is asked to adopt the identity of a person experiencing homelessness and to “walk in their shoes” by actually walking to visit several agencies and locations around the Urban Ministry Center. This homeless simulation lasts two hours. This exercise helps each group comprehend the everyday difficulties of the homeless, the physical demands of walking from location to location, the frustration of homelessness, the barriers faced by our neighbors and the incredible strength and complexity of these people. Must be scheduled during business hours, Monday through Saturday. Be sure to dress accordingly!

The Difference introduces students to Urban Ministry Center and statistics about homelessness in Charlotte. For students in fourth grade and older. This 30 minute presentation is always given off-site.

Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg UMC served as project leader for the initiative to end chronic homelessness in our community. Through this effort, 26 community partners worked to create the infrastructure to house 470 chronically homeless individuals in the first 24 months. UMC continues in a leadership role, during which we plan to house an additional 120+ chronically homeless individuals. These presentations (adult and youth ambassador) help to explain the physical, personal and financial costs of homelessness and Urban Ministry Center’s involvement in ending it. Great for youth groups to corporate groups, once completed “My Name is” or “Walk in My Shoes”

Speakers Bureau Topics

  • The Urban Ministry Center and Its Programs (15 minute introduction to UMC)
  • Practical Ways to Make a Difference (15 minute presentation of volunteer opportunities)
  • Faces of Homelessness (15-30 minute Neighbor story presentation, group size of 40+, offsite)

Primary School Education

Fly Away Home uses the book Fly Away Home and information about homelessness in Charlotte to help younger students empathize with homeless individuals and understand what their service does to help. For students in kindergarten through third grade. This presentation is always given off-site.

A Shelter In Our Car uses the book and information about homelessness in Charlotte to help younger students empathize with homeless individuals and understand what their service does to help. For students in kindergarten through third grade, this presentation is always given off-site.

UMC Jigsaw is a youth activity puzzle to help explain some of the volunteer and educational opportunities available to children ages K-5th grade. A computer and projector are needed to complete the interactive exercise. Great for younger students.

Self-Led Education

Who Is My Neighbor is an optional self-led exercise offered to groups who would like to add a spiritual element to their upcoming education class. “Neighbor” is a term that we use for the population served at Urban Ministry Center. In this lesson, your students will learn two of God’s greatest commandments and how it’s fulfilled at UMC. Great for all ages.

Girl Scouts Homeless Awareness Badge In collaboration with Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council, Urban Ministry Center has developed a special patch program for Daisy through Ambassador Girl Scouts. This patch will help girls learn about those who are homeless, encourage them to share that information with others, and motivate them to take action through volunteering, donation drives, and advocacy.

Cardboard Sleepouts This self-led activity is a unique night of community for the purpose of raising money and awareness for local food insecurity and homelessness.

To schedule a program, email