Our Mission and Challenge
Open Table Ministry seeks out and guides those experiencing homelessness and poverty to long-term health and wholeness by building ongoing trusting relationships, meeting practical and personal needs, making connections to community resources, and bridging critical gaps in the social services system.
At Open Table Ministry, we are intentional about befriending, building strong relationships with and serving the homeless members of our community who are pushed aside, living unsheltered, often to be unnoticed, disregarded or ignored.
Listening to their stories, we have learned that although the primary cause of homelessness is poverty… there are many kinds of poverty that has little to do with an empty wallet. We have found that the greatest poverty is the poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for. Each person living in homelessness has a story…a journey of sorrow and loss, illness or addiction, injury or abuse… bringing them to a position of humiliation…to be homeless. The men and women served by Open Table Ministry are mostly loners, unsuited or uncomfortable in the shelters, sometimes because of their shy nature, sometimes because of past trauma, and sometimes because of an underlying mental illness, their homes are hidden. Some camp in groups or small communities, others stay by themselves or with their dogs unnoticed in the woods. We are really not much different from one another, except perhaps for where we live.
Who we reach through our minstry:
There are currently over 400 people living in homelessness in the Durham/Chapel Hill area. Open Table’s ministry serves more than 100 of these men and women individually each week, in varying ways according to individual needs and goals. Open Table Ministry meets people where they are, whether in the streets, in the woods, in the hospital, or at a shared meal to help address various life and health issues, offering hope for a life of long-term health and wholeness. By providing spiritual and social support, through motivational interviewing, evidence based best practices and Continuum of Care partnerships with service providers, OTM seeks the best possible outcome for each individual.