Churches campaign for ministry center
by Staff Writer
CHARLOTTE – Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center could receive $50,000 from Maxwell House, and Lake Norman churches are urging residents to support the effort through online voting.
The Urban Ministry Center, which works to ease homelessness in the Charlotte area, is in the running with nine other urban, youth and family centers in Detroit, Houston and Baltimore for renovation money from the Drops of Good: Maxwell House Community Project campaign. The three centers that receive the most online votes will each win $50,000.
Those hoping to help may go online to www.maxwellhousecoffee.com and vote once a day. Voting ends June 8, a Friday. So far about 125,000 people have cast votes.
“We ask the community to help us end homelessness and the Drops of Good vote is an incredibly easy way for every person with an email address to support our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Dale Mullenix, Urban Ministry Center Executive Director.
The Urban Ministry Center provides shelter, food, clothing, education, substance abuse treatment and enrichment programs, such as art and gardening programs, to Charlotte’s homeless population.
The Ministry moved into its current location, a former Seaboard Airline rail depot built around 1907, in 1994. Located at 945 N. College St., the facility is in need of some major repairs.
Workers with the center collaborate with colleges and church congregations to operate the Room in the Inn program for the homeless during winter months. Last winter, the center provided more than 17,000 overnight accommodations to 1,555 people.
A Mighty Fortress Lutheran Church, 8200 McClure Circle in Coulwood, takes part in the center’s Room in the Inn program and Pastor John Petry hopes church members can step up and vote.
“We are encouraging members and community through worship service announcements and our monthly newsletter to vote,” Petry said. “The Urban Ministry Center serves thorse in need of assistance as one of our city’s best outreach agencies toward ending homelessness. We need every vote to win.”
Janet Hinson, a member of New Covenant United Methodist Church in Mount Holly, said she is a firm believer in the work that the Urban Ministry Center does and is rallying her other church members to support the cause.
“The Urban Ministry Center is a magnificent organization, and $50,000 in renovations would do them a lot of good,” Hinson said.
A group of Girl Scouts led by Janet Gibson helps serve food to the homeless that the Urban Ministry Center sends to the church as part of the Room in the Inn program.
“I hope that they get the $50,000,” Gibson said. “Working with the Room in the Inn, the girls have learned to look beyond the outward appearance of people.”
For more information on the Urban Ministry Center, call 704-347-0278 or go online to www.urbanministrycenter.org.
Want to help?
Go online to www.maxwellhousecoffee.com and vote for the Urban Ministry Center to win $50,000 from Drops of Good: Maxwell House Community Project contest. Anyone with an email address may vote once a day.