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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

United Ministries, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters

Mission: United Ministries is a housing and social justice organization dedicated to assisting homeless men who want to change their lives and to changing community attitudes toward the homeless.

Results: Since our beginnings in 1997 almost three hundred men have been provided with a safe space, help and hope for the future. They have gone on to reunite with their families, continue their education, obtain employment and permanent housing.

Target demographics: Men who are homeless and in recovery from alcohol or substance abuse in the Baltimore area.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 30 men

Geographic areas served: Baltimore City

Programs: Earl's Place Transitional Housing Program and soon Prospect Place Permanent Support Housing Project

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've done occasional volunteer work with the transitional housing group at Earl's Place, run by United Ministries, and am always impressed with their commitment to helping formerly homeless men return to productive lives. This is a super-low overhead operation, so your donation helps create real results.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

United Ministries/Earl's Place easily is one of the best-run, low-overhead, socially responsible organizations that I have encountered. The men they help get off the street and into jobs and permanent housing are now contributing citizens who almost universally look back on their time at Earl's Place as a rewarding, life-changing experience. You would be hard-pressed to find a charitable cause that provides more for the Baltimore community.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

There is nothing more rewarding than working with the men of Earl’s Place. Based on the success rate experienced at Earl’s Place, it’s clear that Earl’s Place is more than just the next stop on the men’s remarkable journeys. Earl’s Place is truly their home, and the dedication of the staff creates a culture that truly makes it a family. Every interaction with the men brings on such emotion – tears, joy, hope…. The power of each man’s story and the impact that Earl’s Place has on their lives inspires me each day.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are a lot of nonprofits that, somewhere along the line, lose sight of their original purpose to serve a community and instead end up serving themselves. While I've seen this with a lot of organizations which aim to help people experiencing homelessness, United Ministries is not one of them. Volunteering with Earl's Place gave me a chance to see that the staff puts clients' outcomes first. They are committed to helping the men who come through the program to overcome the obstacles in their lives that keep them from being who they want to be. And it shows. So many lives have been transformed by United Ministries, and it is absolutely heartwarming to hear how proud the staff is of each person who comes through the program. I am so proud to be able to support United Ministries in its mission!

Donor

Rating: 5

I love Earl's Place of United Ministries. What is so special about Earl's Place is the staff.
It's because of them that the 17 residents who are coming out of imprisonment or fighting with addiction all do so well in their two years there. There is almost no recidivism because of the personal
relationships they form with each resident. Now United Ministries is starting a new home Prospect Place in Baltimore County.

I am a member of the Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, and for a number of years, TUUC has been a supporter of Earl's Place financially and with volunteers and with gifts for the residents. Sheila Helgerson speaks at TUUC at least once a year, and she is loved by our congregation.

I am a physician and have worked in many environments for the poor and minimalized, such as Bellevue Hospital in New York. In my travels on both coasts, I have not witnessed such success as United Ministries has achieved at Earl's Place.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family donates and follows the work of Earls Place because we believe homeless men can thrive when given a strong community. This is proven by the outcomes and years of success at Earls. The staff works tirelessly to give support to the men while enabling them to become independent.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Earl's Place gives a supportive home to men who need it, and encourages each of them to be the best person they can be, overcoming the challenges of poverty and addiction. The men are respected and expected to do their best. When they graduate they're called "Visionaries" and with good reason....they've dreamt about what they can be, and Earl's Place helps them attain it and become productive members of society.

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

Earl's Place is a favorite of our family's because of the wonderful way that it is organized and run, because of its obvious successes, and because it was very close to my mother's heart. She believed that many of the men there face challenges similar to those that faced my uncle, her little brother. It is so good to know that our contributions are helping someone to find their way in the world again.

vhimmelheb

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have often heard the residents testify to the change Earl's Place has made in their lives. I've worked beside residents as they've served at a local soup kitchen. I've also provided gifts at Christmas.

Previous Stories
23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This group is fantastic. Earl's Place transforms lives! The men often go to school, get jobs, and reconnect with their families. The staff does a super job relating to them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had to think for a moment when chosing the "Your Role" category...everytime I have had an encounter with United Ministires, and Earl's Place in particular...I have found while there may have been a moment of giving on my part, I walk away having learned, discovered, been challenged and stretched at times to take in the scope of transformation happening through the hearts and minds of this organization. Much is to be credited to the leadership and love that guides this process along for it is done in such a way that welcomes and encourages a true and gentle, nurtured and strengthened different way to live. Time, financial resources, learning opportunities...you may not even realize just yet what you have to offer the sojourners you will encounter, but believe this, you will be changed by it!

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have donated to United Ministries for several years and consider it a great investment. We appreciate the many ways that United Ministries gives us to get to know the men they serve and the work they do. We're happy to see that our money is put to good use providing support and encouragement to people who need it and use it to turn their lives around.

We are proud to count ourselves as part of the Earl's Place family.

Arnetta J.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen the impact that United Ministries makes on the men that are served by the witness of these men. They have attended our Annual Meetings and met with our members to explain how their lives have changed since being a part of United Ministries. I've seen positive results of men moving into their own homes, finding employment, buying a car, being producers instead of takers. This is a much needed and worthy orgnaizaiton.

Client Served

Rating: 4

TO: United Ministries 12/1/10 RE: Earl’s Place To Whom It May Concern: As a former resident (a 2000 Visionary Graduate), my self-esteem, misery, and general outlook on life seemed hopeless, all due to my addiction that seemed to me at that time, out of control. However, Earl’s Place, with its supervision and community changed that discernment. I was homeless and penniless in 1998. Earl’s Place greeted me with open arms, and provided a means to empower myself towards a “NEW WAY OF LIFE”. A way of life that has continued “one day at a time.” Kudos, to Sheila’s encouragement and her belief in me. Moreover,extra kudos to all the people that support Earl’s Place. Without YOUR support, Sheila’s selfless time and effort, including United Ministries inspiration and maintainability could not continue in this fine city. Many blessings towards a LONG AND PROSPEROUS CAMPAIGN TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE HOMELESS AND IN NEED, Anonymous Disclaimer: So much more needs to be addressed YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT will assure this will happen.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I also was a client of Earl's Place. I was helped immeasurably by this organization. There are amazing things happening there at earl's Place, Ms. Sheila H. is one of a kind. Her endless work at creating a very nice program that feeds, houses, and helps in many, many ways all whom are fortunate enough to enter their program. I only wish that there was more money available to this organization so that they could help even more people. They certainly deserve it

10

Donor

Rating: 5

United Ministries is an incredible organization. They are transforming people from homeless men on the streets to contributing members of society. These men are encouraged to share their stories. Our church looks forward each year to having a backyard bbq at Earl's Place (United Ministries's transitional housing). We share food, laughs, and stories with the men. We quickly learn that we are not that different than these folks who had a disease such as alcoholism ruin their lives. Once a year a couple of the men will come and speak at our church. We need to do more than just provide a hand-out or write out a check. We need to meet and understand those in need and give them a chance to understand us. I have reviewed their plan to expand and fully support it. Our church has offered our endowment as collateral if necessary because we believe in United Ministries's mission.

13

Donor

Rating: 5

I have personally seen the impact this program makes in the lives of the people they serve. I have seen men go from living on the streets to graduating from college with honors. United Ministries’ Earl’s Place program doesn’t put band-aids on gaping wounds; it rebuilds lives! This program gives its residence a chance to repent, rehabilitate and restore their lives. Every facet of the individual is included in this ministry of transformation. When I give a donation to United Ministries, I know that I am helping to make a difference. I know that my support of United Ministries is helping to change our world, one (whole) life at a time. Lois C. St. Mark's UCC Baltimore, MD

12

Donor

Rating: 5

I have found Earl's Place to be a great place for rehabilitation for men. It is a necessity in the community for the men to renew values and get a better sense of direction. I'm a member of an organization- Ravens's Roost #69 and a private donor to Earl's Place. As a Roost member, we usually visit and watch a football game with the residence at least one a year.The residence are always respectful and thankful for our visit. We also share food and great conversations during our visit. The Executive Director, Shelia Helgerson is a wonderful, hard working and caring person. It has given me great pleasure to know and support her in what she is doing for the residents. May Earl's Place continue its purpose for years to come. April Cox Ravens Roost #69

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I came into Earl's Place I was totally lost and alone. I had no clue how I was going to function in the world without drugs and alcohol. I didn't even know that that world existed. Earl's place showed me a way of life that was far better than the one that I was living. I was homeless, restless, irritable and very disontent with life and Earl's Place showed me how to live life on life's terms. As a direct result of that, today I am successful in life and in my recovery.

9

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love what Earl's Place does to help the men get their lives back. I have been donating for several years now and even though i don't live in Maryland anymore, I still donate when I can. I always loved getting to meet the men that were being helped they were always so grateful.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

What I have heard from the men at Earl's Place is that they are very glad to be there. Most of them go to school, get diplomas or degrees,get a job and their own apartment. Many have come to my church and tell about their happy experience at Earl's Place. They have much- praise for the officers who run the place.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In my considred expeience, I found Earl's Place and Ms. Shelia to be of ENORMOUS help tp me and others that I personally witnessed. Sheila always takes the time to be helpful on an individual basis to all with whatever special needs they require. I have never been in a better place where staff cares so genously and sincerely as Earl's Place

6

Client Served

Rating: 2

Despite the rave reviews, there exist an under current of racism. The clients are well aware of how it is employed, yet say nothing for fear of termination from the program. I will say that time and practices would reveal a very different director than first impression would have it. Everythng that glidders isn't gold.