Mission: 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.
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.