40 years of compassion, care, and dignity

for 40 years, Urban Ministries has served Wake County residents in need. read on to see the impact we make, together, each and every day.

our pantry had humble beginnings, serving about 200 people each year. our pantry has grown tremendously over the years, now serving thousands. before the pandemic, we were the county’s largest client-choice pantry. we’ve gone back to the curbside model for now but we have served more people than ever before – almost 40,000 in just 10 months.

the open door clinic was started in 1985 under the direction of Dr. Donald T. Lucey. it was one of the state’s earliest free and charitable clinics. today, we serve more than 1500 uninsured adults and provide roughly 39,000 prescriptions from our pharmacy each year.

the Ark Shelter opened in 1984 and served 25 men experiencing homelessness. two years later, it expanded to serve 10 women. 20 years ago, it was renamed the Helen Wright Center in honor of the agency’s first director. today, the HWCW is much more than a shelter. we can accommodate 73 women experiencing homelessness while also offering counseling, online certification classes, stable housing, and more.

"I was given a second chance."

Brian: Clinic Patient

"I want to inspire others."

Rose: HWCW Guest

“Sometimes I think services like that I misunderstood. There are people on the edge and Urban Ministries helps fill that gap. If they weren’t there, I see what a detrimental effect that would have on the community.”

Ray: Clinic Patient

"The pantry is awesome. It helps people who have needs. The quality is good."

Jeannie: Pantry Guest

"I wanted a key to my own door. Now, I have a key."

Janice: HWCW Guest

"Dr. Campbell saved my life."

Marie: Clinic Patient

"Volunteering at UMWC is gratifying on many levels. Meeting people and giving back to the community is so worthwhile.”

Alec: Volunteer