Urban Ministry

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Urban Ministry logo.png

The Urban Ministry, incorporated in 1976, is a nonprofit focused on alleviating poverty, preventing homelessness and encouraging youth to focus on school and pursue education. It is an urban ministry of the United Methodist Church. Its offices are located at 1229 Cotton Avenue in Arlington-West End in part of the campus of the former West End Methodist Church. Garrett Harper is the executive director of Urban Ministry and its board of directors is chaired by Bill McMullen.

Urban Ministry began in North Birmingham, providing emergency food and healthcare to families impacted by economic downturn and the closing of manufacturing plants. The agency moved to West End in 1986 and opened its after-school enrichment program for 3rd through 8th graders, Urban Kids a year later.

Currently, Urban ministry employs two full-time social workers. It works alongside Beeson Senior Services and West End Community Church. Through its Joe Rush Center for Urban Mission, Urban Ministry supports the rehabilitation of homes whose owners are unable to maintain them without help. In 2008 Urban Ministry founded WE Community Gardens to improve food security and nutritional education in West End. Produce from the gardens, which are staffed by paid interns, is sold at community markets and prepared and served at the WE Community Cafe.