Urban Ministries has served Wake County residents in need since 1981.

For four decades we have worked to engage our community and provide essential services to those who need them. Urban Ministries of Wake County is dedicated to listening and growing alongside our neighborhood. Continue reading to see the impact we make, together.

Hover over each program to read. 



The food pantry

Feeding Wake County

Our pantry had humble beginnings, serving 3,496 people food in the first year. We've grown tremendously over the years. 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 - 42,219 in just 12 months.



The shelter

Sheltering Wake County

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 services like counseling and online certification classes.



The clinic and pharmacy

Healing Wake County

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 on-site pharmacy each year.



Our team

Serving Wake County

It all started when a group of volunteers from different church congregations decided to make a lasting impact on the lives of the neighbors. Today, we are only able to operate because of our volunteers who give tirelessly of their time and talent to make a difference in someone's life each day. Whether it be bringing meals to the women at the Helen Wright Center, helping stock the pantry, or even providing medical expertise; our volunteers are the backbone of Urban Ministries of Wake County.

We invite you to celebrate our 40th anniversary by joining the Circle of Compassion, a club for monthly donors making a difference for their Wake County neighbors in need.

"I was given a second chance."

A few years ago, Healing Transitions made Brian an appointment to see Dr. Charles van der Horst at the Open Door Clinic. Dr. van der Horst’s program treats clinic patients who have Hepatitis C. The $70,000 drug combination needed for a cure was donated to the clinic and the treatment protocol was written by Dr. van der Horst. This cure changed the lives of 24 patients so far, including Brian Talty. That’s right – Brian Talty no longer has the disease he thought might kill him once he started treating his addiction.

Brian: Clinic Patient

"I want to inspire others."

Rose recently moved from the Helen Wright Center for Women to an apartment. She’s proud to show off some furnishings she received from Urban Ministries of Wake County’s community partner, The Green Chair Project. Now that Rose has stable and safe housing, she would really like to give back to other women experiencing homelessness. She wants to come back to the shelter to give talks on things like time management, self-awareness and breaking cycles. She wants to inspire the women to make the most of the resources available to them.

Rose: HWCW Guest

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

One of our pantry clients, Jeannie, said she owned her own business, but things have slowed down considerably since March 2020. That is why she came to us. Jeannie said her aunt is a patient at our Open Door Clinic and told her to come to us for groceries.

Jeannie: Food Pantry Client