40 years of compassion, care, and dignity
for 40 years, Urban Ministries has served Wake County residents in need.
our wish is that poverty, or even the threat of it, will be eradicated.
however, if that is not the case, we wish to keep evolving to meet our neighbors where they are the next 40 years.
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.
we were formed when a group of volunteers from different church congregations decided to make a lasting a 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 Helen Wright Center, helping stock the pantry, or even providing medical expertise; our volunteers are the backbone of Urban Ministries of Wake County even today.