I have been a volunteer and a donor for over 25 years.
United Ministries does an amazing job of getting people back on their feet and participating in life as good productive citizens. There are 5 parts to United Ministries: 1. The Place of Hope day shelter helps homeless people. They can wash their clothes, get a bottle of water in the summer or toiletries, and more importantly, get counseling and case management so they can get off the streets. 2. Emergency Assistance gives deserving people rent and utility deposits, a bag of food, life-saving medications, help with food stamp applications, when they're down and out. But these people are screened to be sure their services aren't being abused as happens sometimes. 3. The Learning Center allows people to get their GED at a pace that fits their schedule and needs. Education is so important. They graduate more people than most high schools! Many of their graduates go on to Greenville Tech. Their results are amazing! 4. Employment Readiness helps people get a job. 5. Our Eyes Were Opened educates people who have resources (not poor people, but people with money who can help) so that they better understand poverty and will then help those who are less fortunate. It helps educators, healthcare workers, business people, law enforcement people and others understand what the poor go through so they can better deal with them. It helps all of us make better decisions with our donations of money and time and our votes.
United Ministries is very flexible. If a program isn't working, they will change it so it does or eliminate it. If a new program is needed they will start one. They do amazing work with their limited budget. This agency is a model that should be duplicated in other communities.
The religious philosophy and workings of United Ministries is detailed in Beth Templeton's must-read book, "Loving Our Neighbor - A Thoughtful Approach to Helping People in Poverty" (iUniverse).
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I've seen so many people helped. I've seen people graduate with their GED, heard them speak about the help they were given, how they got off the streets, got a job, and seen people with resources come to understand poverty to the point where they "get it."
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Give them much more money.