Community Education

Ways we help

Community Education

Our mission includes bringing the community together, and an important part of this involves education both onsite and out in the community. We’ve learned a lot about poverty and homelessness in our nearly 25 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.

To schedule a program, email

Elementary School to Adult Education

Homelessness and Housing in Charlotte

In this class we explore the historical and contemporary causes of homelessness, distinguish between chronic and situational homelessness, learn about the Housing First model, gain an overview of services offered by Urban Ministry Center, and examine Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis.

My Name is . . .

These exercises use the real-life stories of Tom, Rachel, and John to examine the responsibility we have to help our homeless neighbors, and some of the many different factors that can lead to homelessness. These programs help the participants better understand the circumstances of those experiencing homelessness and, more importantly, how we can help. Coordinate to have these programs to be held at UMC or at your location. The stories available:

  • John: The story of a man who fell from privilege (6th grade and above)
  • Rachel: A tale of generational poverty (9th grade and above)
  • Tom: A story of hard work and the affordable housing crisis (adult groups)

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!

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)

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