Greensboro Urban Ministry looks to community for help after cuts

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Helping other people is at the core of Greensboro Urban Ministry's work. Now after almost 50 years of serving the community, they need help.

"We still feel as though we're healthy," said Executive Director Myron Wilkins. "We have challenges ahead in that our giving is down about six percent this year."

Wilkins and his team are working to get ahead of tough finances. Lack of revenue and a big one-time contribution from Duke Energy, that accounted for about $400,00 for the emergency assistance budget, is running dry next year. It's forcing the team to cut back.

"It's best to be able to realign when you have the strength and capacity to change than get to a place where the resources are gone and you have to make panic and crisis decisions," Wilkins said.

Four of the ministry's 40 full-time employees are being let go and to reduce spending its cutting some parts of emergency assistance funding by 50 percent. The most important factor for the Greensboro Urban Ministry is making sure none of its core services are going to change. None of the 100 beds in the Weaver House are going away, but it will now serve primarily as a night shelter.

Wilkins says the changes won't change the ministry's message.

"How can we make sure that we are serving as many people as possible, as effectively as possible for as long as possible?" Wilkins said.

A big part of that work is food distribution. The operation brings in trucks of donations, organized by staff and volunteers so food can be custom bagged for families that can come in four times a year, no questions asked. Now folks working in the distribution center will also have to learn to work in the kitchen that supplies hundreds of meals to folks in the Weaver House, and vice versa.

With these adjustments and increased donations, Wilkins hopes the group can help the community sustainably for the next fifty years. Click here if you want to get involved and donate to the Greensboro Urban Ministry.

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