Community Ministry's mission to meet the basic needs of qualified people in Southwest Denver who are experiencing economic hardships and related.
The seeds for what has become Community Ministry were planted in 1966 when women from Brentwood United Methodist Church attended a conference on Affluence and Poverty. The conference disclosed that one of the poverty pockets in Denver was in Southwest Denver in the College View neighborhood. This continues to be the reality for many Southwest Denver families today. Two sisters from Loretta Heights College and four students rented a house to more directly work in the neighborhood and begin to address issues of poverty and hunger. As a result College View Ministry was incorporated in 1968 and in September 1971 the name was changed to Community Ministry to better reflect that the non-profit was a service organization working together with individuals and churches in the community.
For over 47 years, Community Ministry has served Southwest Denver families with emergency food, clothing, and supportive resources such as school supplies, holiday food baskets, Christmas gifts for children, utility assistance and most recently our extensive wraparound services developed in collaboration with other agencies. Initially, Community Ministry served a handful of families; today with over 7,000 family visits annually we provide food and other support services. In 1968, eight churches sponsored Community Ministry; today, 25 churches support the organization with in kind and financial donations as well over 18,000 volunteer hours from over 1,000 individuals.
In all of the neighborhoods served by Community Ministry, families are facing continued challenges of putting enough food on the table and paying their bills. Community Ministry's support helps families better manage expenses during difficult times. This has been the hallmark of Community Ministry's efforts and with the recent addition of local agencies to provide on-site services during food pantry hours, more families are able to receive support for other issues than just their food needs. The move toward self-sufficiency is helped by these creative collaborative linkages.