Housing needed to assist Urban Ministries of Durham

Durham (WTVD) -- Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) strives to bring our community together to fight poverty and homelessness by offering food, shelter, and a future to our neighbors in need.

When Covid-19 struck our area and numbers began to rise, UMD was able to call on a community partner, the RTP Marriott in Durham, to house its residents and keep them virus free. This housing contract ended on July 9; however, due to social distancing requirements still in place, UMD was unable to welcome all its residents back. Once holding 149 available beds, the facility now stands at half that amount. With unemployment at an all-time-high and evictions looming, the urgency increases as more individuals and families will require UMD's services.

While the economic impact of this pandemic touches everyone, we can come together and rise to the challenge. UMD is calling on the community to help identify and provide housing assistance to meet the demand while keeping everyone safe.

Here's how you can help:

1. Donate airbeds, mattresses, and linens to UMD.

Items can be new or gently used. Sizes: Twin and Full. Drop off at the lobby of 410 Liberty Street under the purple awning (M-F, 10 am-4 pm).

These items appear on UMD's Amazon Wishlist for quick order and delivery.

For questions about donations, contact Viki Baker at (919) 682-0538 ext. 125 or vbaker@umdurham.org.

2. Open your doors.
Do you have a rental property or another space that can be made available for either temporary or permanent housing? Or can you help make the connection with someone who does have these resources? Housing does not have to be local.

If you are interested in providing shelter, please contact UMD's Clinical Director, Valerie Haywood, by calling or texting her at 919-459-7220 (preferred) or send her an email at vhaywood@umdurham.org.

There are a variety of options to fit what you are able to offer. Ideally, UMD is hoping to provide short-term 6-12 months emergency housing opportunities or leases, with hopes that some contracts could result in permanent housing.

If you hope to provide a rental opportunity, clients will need rental units around $600 or less per person. Case managers are available to help identify rent arrangements that succeed for both you and the client.

3. Contribute to Project ROOF (Removing Obstacles to Occupancy Funds).
Make a gift online and put "ROOF" in the dedication or send a check to UMD at P.O. Box 249, Durham, NC 27702 with memo line "ROOF."

Think creatively on how to work with friends, family, and your fellowship groups to raise money as a team (social-distance style).

For questions about donations, contact Joe Daly at (919) 682-0538 ext. 135 or send an email to jdaly@umdurham.org.
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