The Cooperative Downtown Ministries, Inc.

Rating: 4.8 stars   5 reviews


1501 Third Ave North PO Box 11722 Birmingham AL 35202 USA


The Cooperative Downtown Ministries opened The Old Firehouse Shelter on December 21, 1983 to minister to homeless men. The shelter is located in the historic Fire Station #6 of the Birmingham Fire Department on 15th Street and 3rd Avenue North. When the need for housing the homeless in the downtown area reached the crisis stage, the Greater Birmingham Ministries formed a Shelter Work Group. With the cooperation of the city and the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District, the vacant fire station was made available. From this Shelter Work Group, the Cooperative Downtown Ministries (CDM), a not-for-profit organization, was formed in May 1984. CDM, a coalition of churches representing eleven denominations, acts as the administrative body for The Old Firehouse Shelter.

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Reviews for The Cooperative Downtown Ministries, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars  

When first I agreed to serve on the Board for the Firehouse Shelter, I looked upon it as a chore or, at best, as a service to the community. To my surprise, it has become more of a personal growth opportunity. I have found that the leadership of the Board includes a group of very talented and experienced persons that have a very real passion for the services that are offered by the Shelter. The professional staff are talented and sincerely dedicated to their mission. I can way without question that this experience has been a high point in my life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Experiencing a change in the financial structure from a very week condition toward a solidly sustainable operation. The debt load is low compared with assets. Funds that are collected are allocated at more than 90% toward direct support of the Shelter mission. Very little is directed toward overhead and fund-raising.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The path being followed by the current leadership is, in my opinion, correct for the time being. Efforts are directed toward improving the financial condition while at the same time expanding both the mission of the organization and the qualifications of the staff.

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