Presbyterian Urban Ministry programs.

The purpose of the programs that Presbyterian Urban Ministry is involved with are to assist people with addressing a short term crisis. However, any type of support will be contingent on the applicant addressing the root cause of their hardship. So the resources available to residents in Durham County are a form of self-help.

Everything available from the organization, ranging from financial aid to food, is only issued on a limited basis. It is targeted at income qualified people who are facing some form of special hardship or unexpected need. In addition, trained social workers will refer clients to other providers in the region.

Emergency funds for basic needs and living expenses from PUM

After an intake process and in depth interview has been completed, emergency financial assistance may be issued. It is for an unexpected hardship, such as transportation, rent to stop evictions, utilities, or a limited number of medical expenses. The staff will help applicants identify services or even public assistance for which they may be eligible for.

The on site Presbyterian Urban Ministry Food Pantry and clothing closet is a key place to turn to for basic needs. It offers both groceries and items such as free clothing for work or school, or even an upcoming job interview.

When it comes to people facing hunger, the center may have meats, dairy, fresh produce, baby formula, canned goods, and household staples for clients. During a visit to the pantry, the family will be allowed to select the foods which are right for them. So this means it is a client choice pantry. People then have the ability to choose the groceries they want from the selection available. Long term support is met by SNAP food stamp applications.

Durham County residents may shop in the Clothes Closet, so this is also clients choice. The center may have free, gently-used, seasonal attire for men, women and children. All of the items available at the clothing bank come from donations from the community, so resources are limited. However, Presbyterian Urban Ministry will do their best to provide gently used but high-quality items throughout the year.




These services are available to all low-income residents of Durham County. Each household that is found to be eligible for a service above may receive food or clothing a limited number of times per year, and the type of items passed out are dependent on family size and special needs.

People in a temporary financial crisis may receive one time Rent, Utility Bill or Mortgage Assistance. There may also be funds for a security deposit. The purpose of the Presbyterian Urban Ministry program is to protect struggling families facing a short term hardship.

In order to apply for support, the applicant must have a source of income and go through an interview process. They also need a lease agreement or mortgage. Funds for any type of assistance program are limited, and applicants must meet specific requirements to be considered any type of government grant or loan from Presbyterian Urban Ministry. Any money paid out is sent directly to the vendor in question and not to the applicant. If someone is not qualified, then staff members from the non-profit will try to connect families to other sources of help.

Education, Literacy, and Job Placement in Durham County

Staff from Presbyterian Urban Ministry also want to address the root cause of the crisis, so this type of support from the agency is critical. There are resources available in partnership with one stop job centers and other partners.

Adult Learning and Literacy is for people looking for new skills. Classes offer clients instruction in English,reading, math skills, GED preparation and citizenship test preparation for immigrants. Other self-sufficiency can be arranged as well, if needed. This learning occurs in a number of sessions held throughout the month.

Specialists offer services in classroom settings. Or there can be small groups and one-on-one sessions held with volunteer tutors. As with any resources available by Presbyterian Urban Ministry or any charity, all resources are limited. So while Presbyterian Urban Ministry will do their best to meet needs for employment services, there is often a waiting list.




There are even resource labs and free computer training too. There are free classes in computer skills and software, including Windows Fundamentals, Microsoft Word, Intro to Computers, and PowerPoint. Residents can also use the lab to search for jobs or create resumes too.

When applying for any program above, if funds are available and the person appears to meet the  requirements, they will need to participate in an assessment process. A complete review of the financial situation will take place. To request help, call (919) 220-8757 or stop by 2504 North Roxboro Street, Durham, North Carolina 27704.


By Jon McNamara

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