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
Write a Review
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

UCM is my favority charity to donate to in my community. They are always there and offer a range of services. I know they are steady and make the most of the donations.

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

Shopping at the Back Porch Thrift Shop

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

provide more opportunities for Scout troops to help out with UCM's events and activities

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I have volunteered at the UCM with my son. Volunteering at UCM is not only an opportunity to help our community, but to get to know the people in the community. I think that makes it an extra special experience for my son.

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

volunteering and seeing the effect it has made in the community.

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

try to find more ways to promote UCM.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a volunteer and donor. Because of United Communities our community is a better place. Not only do they provide food and shelter for many in need, they provide counsel on how to better their condition.

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

I am proud of UCM because it works to hard to help those in need. When all people enter the building they are met with respect and compassion. It is so disappointing to have to turn anyone away because of lack of funds.

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

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would see that they had all the money they need to assist with the needy in our community.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am privileged to be both a donor and staff leader with United Community Ministries. The depth and breadth of services in the community provide not only basic human needs, but build the skills necessary to successful lives. For more than 40 years, UCM has been not only the community's safety net, but essential in providing hope and solutions to thousands of families each and every year.

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

Witnessing each day the positive difference it makes in the lives of individuals and families.

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

More resources to meet the community need.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been aware of UCM services to less fortunate neighbors in the Route 1 Corridor of Fairfax County for many years. Several years ago I decided to become more involved as a volunteer and as a board member.

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

... seeing the faces of families who receive food donations

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

...find a way to provide more financial support

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My wife and I have been involved with UCM for over fifteen years. She has been a volunteer helping clients with basic needs for all that time and was a board member in the late 1990s. I have helped with food and clothing drives for as many years and was honored to join the board this past year. This is a marvelous full service organization, helping with everything from basic needs to child care to training to get people back into the work force with meaningful jobs. But the task continues to grow, with one in five children now living in poverty. At a time when former donors are now clients, we need all the help we can to care for our fellow friends and neighbors.

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

helping in the food pantry and observing the child care center

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

Help expand the footprint of donors because the task is so urgent.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am recent addition to UCM's Board of Directors. But in my 25 years of development banking, rarely did I see an institution that is both so strategically focused on its mission of helping people in need, and so efficient and transaparent in delivering its services. Whatever you do for UCM, you know it will immediately translate into concrete assistance for a client family. Whether you volunteer in, donate to, or attend UCM's activities, your effort has a direct, positive impact on someone's life. Those unique institutional qualities are showing in the superb way UCM has reacted to the current economic down-turn. It is assisting a record number of clients—some 13,000 of them. Its emergency food, shelter and utility connection programs are operating at maximum capacity. Educational and self-help initiatives are fully, and sometimes over, subscribed. More than ever before, federal, state and county governments count on UCM's help to reach the most vulnerable. Its staff are generously giving up their personal time and its volunteer force is deployed in its entirety. While we are proud of UCM’s many achievements in this special period, continue to learn from our experience, and constantly seek new opportunities to enhance our efficiency and effectiveness, we know that there are many families still hurting. Fairfax County reports that some two thousand people remain homeless in the area, forty percent of which are children. And the consensus forecast is for the economy’s recovery to be slow, protracted and mostly jobless. In other words, for the poor, the next two to three years will not be much different from today. So, if you ever wanted to extend a hand to the hungry, the homeless and the hopeless among us, this is the time to do it. And UCM is a wonderful vehicle to channel your support.

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

The way client families have expressed their gratitude for UCM's support. To them, UCM is the last safety-net.

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

Secure a large donor platform on which to scale up the services that UCM delivers, especially while the economy remains stagnant and jobs remain scarce.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

Friends.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Emergency food and shelter.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Employability and independence of those currently in material need.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have donated to and volunteered for UCM over many years. I keep coming back to UCM because all of the efforts stay right in our community. I feel like their clients receive my donations rather than the money being spent on sending me address labels, cards and the like. I believe something like 94 cents of every dollar contributed goes directly to those who need it. Volunteering has also made me realize that there is true need right in my neighborhood and UCM does all that it can to meet those needs.

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

...seeing needy and homeless people walk out the door with food for their families, money for heating fuel, clothes for a job interview, backpacks with school supplies, etc.

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

...help them modernize their equipment for greater efficiency.

Was this review helpful?