The Urban Ministry Center is an interfaith organization whose mission ultimately depends upon the support of others. We’re unyielding in helping our most vulnerable homeless neighbors. We pursue this passion with the dedication of our volunteers and gifts from throughout the community. You can help in so many ways. This website shares ideas and resources for you to become involved.

Ways We Help the Homeless

Basic Services & Soup Kitchen

We serve a hot, nutritious lunch 365 days a year, even in the face of terrible weather and ever-increasing demand. With a 35-year history, it remains the largest, oldest Charlotte soup kitchen. We welcome anyone who is in need of a meal, regardless of the person’s circumstance, with no questions asked. We also provide showers, laundry, mail, I.D. assistance and other essential services. It’s our way of affirming the dignity of each homeless neighbor.


This unique substance abuse program in Charlotte provides hope and a home, including intensive outpatient treatment, continuing care, support and a place to live. SABER is a nine-month journey toward self-sufficiency. The program and its residents achieve a 55% success rate after nine months, compared with a national average of 20% for other substance abuse programs. And 85% complete SABER’s three-month intensive treatment. It’s a model that works.

Street outreach

Street Outreach

While over 450 people are coming to our location each day, there are still many who do not reach out to any agency for services. Our Outreach and Engagement team searches the streets, woods and other places not meant for human habitation looking for the most vulnerable of our homeless neighbors. Once connected, we begin to build a relationship with each and help them on the path to housing.

Permanent Supportive Housing (HousingWorks)

Three different pathway options give the most vulnerable individuals what they desperately need: a safe, stable, affordable home and the support to succeed. HousingWorks targets individuals who have been homeless the longest and are the most vulnerable. A very specialized and caring team helps individuals transition from long-term homelessness to housing and provides support to help ensure the people never again become homeless.

Community Education

We believe that ending homelessness in Charlotte involves sharing stories, knowledge and first-hand experiences with businesses, congregations and other community groups. We provide a speaker’s bureau, workshops and unique programs such as “My Name is Rachel” and “Walk in My Shoes.” We can bring education to you and we also invite groups to our center.

Ending Homelessness One Life at a Time

Our Mission and History

The Urban Ministry Center is unyielding in helping Charlotte’s most vulnerable homeless neighbors. With the dedication of our volunteers and gifts from throughout the community, we’ve pursued this passionate mission since 1994.

How We End Homelessness

We serve hundreds of people everyday, with a focus on chronically homeless individuals in Charlotte. Our goal is to first find people housing so we can then help them deal with the multiple issues in their lives. While we’re doing that, we help relieve their hunger, access medical services, address basic daily needs such as bathing and clothing, fill a personal void with music, recreation or art, and provide counseling and support, all with a focus on ending their homelessness.

Staff Contacts

The Urban Ministry Center staff embrace the mission of helping homeless neighbors, one person at a time. Our diverse team works closely with homeless neighbors, our thousands of volunteers, area congregations, community groups, referral sources, people interested in donating money, food and resources, and many others.

Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Our volunteer Board of Trustees consists of Charlotte community members that provide the Urban Ministry Center with leadership, stewardship and talent. Like each and every volunteer who supports the center’s mission, our trustees make a difference in ending homelessness and in supporting each individual neighbor who faces that challenge.


The Charlotte community and Urban Ministry come together in partnership to feed, clothe and provide housing to our homeless neighbors. We partner with large organizations such as churches and businesses and, just as importantly, with social service professionals and single individuals, families and groups. We’re a proud member of the Homeless Services Network. By cooperating and sharing, we’re more effective in reaching out and making a difference in ending homelessness.

View the homelessness statistics in our city, state and country

People Tell the Story

Neighbor Stories

Pride pours from individuals who were once homeless and now have housing, a job and better health. Their backgrounds and stories consist of one crisis after another, but it’s amazing to hear about the path that some of them take from street to home to becoming engaged in their church, neighborhood and community.

Gary Henderson

Gary remembers where he came from. And his new life won’t cloud his memory. He now gives back to the people who helped him and to those who need a community.

Volunteer Stories

Our volunteers come from all walks of life. Each one is a blessing to our Charlotte homeless neighbors. Every year, nearly 10,000 regular, seasonal and one-time volunteers lend their time and talent to our mission. In addition to many individuals, others contribute by energizing a group to volunteer, such as a church, neighborhood, business, athletic team or civic group. Please consider joining our ministry.

Leslie Faulkner

Charlotte is blessed with thousands of volunteers. Meet one of them who adopted the Urban Ministry Center and its pledge to end homelessness.

Staff Stories

Our team specializes in counseling, healthcare, housing, community education, job counseling, recreation, nutrition and other areas that serve our homeless neighbors. Our talented team also spreads the word about the challenges of our neighbors by hosting visitors at the center and reaching out to groups throughout the community. You can feel their passion when you meet them.

Janetta Lambert

Not many jobs take you under highway overpasses and to nearly invisible urban camps. But Janetta’s role with Urban Ministry is based upon a passionate mission.

Donor Stories

The Urban Ministry Center and our homeless neighbors benefit from a diverse group of community donors: business people, large and small employers, houses of worship, schools, civic groups, individuals from all walks of life and many others who support our important mission. These stories share their motivation for helping our community’s most vulnerable people.

David Harker

This Charlotte businessman hits multiple homeruns for Urban Ministry Center. And his team goes extra innings to help end homelessness.

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