United Community Ministries, Inc.

Rating: 4.93 stars   44 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Job Training, Human Services

Location: 7511 Fordson Rd Alexandria VA 22306 USA

Mission: UCM''s mission is to assist families and individuals to improve the quality of their lives in a manner that builds their self-reliance and fosters their ability to function at the greatest level of their economic and social capacities.
Programs: * The Bryant Early Learning (BEL) Center, offering quality child care for working parents and instruction in infant care for teenage mothers;* Basic Needs helps people in crisis meet basic needs and learn about resources for long-term self-sufficiency;* Back Porch Thrift Shop, where customers from a variety of economic backgrounds can find affordable bargains and clients can receive a voucher for the items they need;* Work Force Development Center, offers a variety of employment and self-employment services;* Supportive Housing programs offer transitional housing and a variety of housing counseling services; * Healthy Families; child abuse prevention and a child-nurturing program;* Family Renewal, provides a support group to homeless and formerly homeless families;* Youth In Action is designed to provide youth with activities and empowerment while improving the quality of their families' lives through a parent education component.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As a member of Alexandria Woodlawn Friends Meeting I have and feel a close link to UCM. We have permanent collections of food and $$ for UCM and I am always impressed with how they make such effective use of the contributions they receive.

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

Seeing how well they stretch resources to help their clients

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

not make any!

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Rating: 4 stars  

In 2010 I was lay-off from my job, being the head of the house with two children I was afraid I would lose everything. I when to UCM and apply for the different services they offered, such as food, Dominion Power, and emergency money.
these services helped me stay a float till my unemployment started. My family will never forget the kindness showed during our time of need.

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

I visited the UCM for services once a week and was always greeted with a smile.

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

Make sure there was a staff appreciation day.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

A friend

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Nothing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had patients who needed help with basic necessities for children or themselves and UCM is always there as a referral. They may have come in to me with their broken bone but medical help was not all what they needed. UCM is always there to help with the 'realiites' of daily living. Thank you for all your help in the community!

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

helping families that needed housing and education

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

nothing.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As a social worker with a private agency I was always limited in the types of assistance I could provide clients. But, thankfully, I could refer people to UCM with the assurance that their needs would be addressed wisely and knowledgably. Over many years I have seen this agency grow into a better and better organization, with services that really address the needs of an increasingly needy and growing community. UCM has my total respect.

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

I have seen and talked with many clients who have received UCM assistance. I have also visited/ observed the Bryant Early Education Center, the Back Porch Thrift Shop and the Food Bank in action.

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

....I would find them larger operating spaces and I would increase their budget.

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Rating: 5 stars  

We regularly donate money, food and items for sale in the thrift store. As a former Board member and Officer, I have seen the dedication of the staff and volunteers in providing multifaceted programs for the families served.

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

In addition to the Food Pantry which provides basic needs for clients in the Route 1 corridor, and the BEL Center for early childhood education, I particularly commend UCM for the Workforce Development Program which trains clients in skills which they can use to enter the job market.

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

Provide more funds so that UCM could help more clients.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

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Rating: 4 stars  

I have been helping with UCM programs for years. UCM is the largest and most vital social service agency in the eastern part of Fairfax county. UCM's support for families, the under employed, and those with needs large and small is unmatched by other agencies up and down the Rt. 1 corridor.

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

I know numerous individuals and families who have received help from UCM.

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

Help it get more County and state funds to expand the service it provides.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been donating money and goods to UCM for years because of the work it does to help feed needy people and help them become self sufficient. This need increased greatly after 9/11 when many local, low-wages were laid off, but UCM stepped up to meet the need. I vowed I would become more active when I retired from government, and now I am on the board. As a board member I have come to appreciate UCM even more because of the wide range of programs it offers to people in crisis and need.

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

I helped last year with the Holiday gift room and saw personally the joy and appreciation of clients who were able to give their children gifts because of UCM's work.

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

I would want it to spend even more resources on fundraising to be able to be financially secure in the long term, especially with government and foundation grants declining.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been associated with UCM for over 30 years. It is an outstanding organization that has created a sense of community in an area that is extremely diverse. The work done by UCM truly changes people's lives. It is not a band aid. The staff and volunteers are dedicated. well trained and compassionate. You cannot make a better investment.

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

I have seen thousands of people helped with food, shelter, financial assistance, counseling, child care, job training and life changing opportunities.

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

like to see more effort spent in making the community aware of the importance of UMC's role in creating and maintaining a stable community.

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Rating: 5 stars  

UCM is such a wonderful addtiion to our community. During this season, it's especially nice to think back on its years of service and the many, many persons who have been helped during its history.

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

meeting many of the people who have taken advantage of its services. It's staff is top notch.

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

increase the income for UCM so its good work could reach more people.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

We donate to UCM both personally (financially and through food donations) and through our church. Every year we use our annual holiday party to get food donations for UCM -- last year alone with the help of friends and family attending our party, we were able to donate over 300 pounds of food. We do so because we believe in the good work that UCM does to serve families in need along the Route 1 corridor in Alexandria.

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

seeing the effects it has one the people they serve, and through the great reporting they do back to donors.

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

build a stronger financial base through personal donations and grants, and link it more with local civic associations so that these associations "buy in" to helping their neighbors through UCM.

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