Each week, on a rotating schedule, volunteers from local churches and other organizations bring a hot home-cooked meal to Open Table Ministry.  Word gets around the community. To share a good meal and friendly conversation, Open Table Ministry gathers each Monday at noon at Trinity United Methodist at 215 N. Church Street in Durham. All are welcome without regard to income or social status - housed, sheltered, or not. There are no criteria to meet, no forms to fill out, no questions or requirements, all are welcome. 


Why is the model of Open Table Ministry remarkably different?  Because the food is not the main thing. Although we are often identified by Monday lunches, our meals together are the means by which relationships are developed.  They are the start of our work together because the meals are not simply served, they are shared… and when food is shared, strangers become friends.


Homeless persons are welcomed into caring community that meets them where they are and as they are. These radical friendships make it possible for us learn of ways to come along side of our neighbors… to advocate for appropriate health care, emergency shelter, mental health support, addiction recovery, and prescription medications… each as appropriate to individual need.


Conversation flows naturally… People from the neighborhood become aware of the unique gifts of those who live without homes and homeless persons begin to see new hope and possibilities. Whether it is to offer hope, encouragement, a ride, or help making appointments, we help our less fortunate neighbors to navigate a very complicated service system, and support our friends as they choose positive change. 


You can help simply by spreading the word about what we do at Open Table Ministry. Like us on Facebook and Share our posts, updates, and events with your friends.

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Open Table Ministry is currently looking for the following items for our Free Store:

  • Jeans (especially men's jeans in small-medium sizes)

  • Shorts

  • Belts

  • Sneakers and work boots

  • Hoodies

  • Sleeping bags

  • Blankets

  • Tents

  • New socks, underwear, bras

  • Deodorant and bug spray

Items can be dropped off at the Open Table Ministry office at 215 N. Church Street on weekdays between 9 am and 1 pm.

An easy way to donate is to purchase items for our Free Store from our Amazon Wish List! Items can be shipped directly to our location at 215 N. Church St. in Durham. Click here to access our list.

To find out more, contact us here. 


Other than one paid staff member, Open Table Ministry relies entirely on the kindness and actions of volunteers. There are many ways to volunteer to help the homeless through Open Table Ministry.

1 - Free Store

During COVID-19, we have a strong need for volunteers who can work at our Free Store on Tuesdays distributing clothing and other items

2 - Monday Lunches

We also need churches and other groups to sign up to provide Monday lunches.

3- Move-in Team

On those happy days when one of our clients move into permanent housing, we need assistance with moving them in. 

Read on to learn more about how you can help.

4 - Transportation & Advocacy

One of our services is to help our homeless friends navigate the health and human services system. We drive them to medical appointments, take them to get IDs, and more. Imagine trying to fill out the many forms required if, like many of our clients, literacy is an issue. We need volunteers who are able to drive our clients to these various appointments, help them through the process, and advocate for them.

To ask questions or to get more information, contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

Sign Up to Provide a Lunch

Would your church, business, or civic group like to provide a lunch to our homeless community? Sign up here!





Download lunch information and guidelines here.

Sign Up to Volunteer at our Free Store

We offer a "Free Store" to our community. During COVID-19, we are open every Tuesday from 9:30-11:30 am, our clients can come collect clothing, shoes, coats, toiletries, and other practical items up to once a month. Our motto is "freely received, freely given."

Would you like to volunteer at our Free Store and enjoy the blessing of distributing these much-needed items?

We are looking for volunteers who can work from 9:15-11:45 am anywhere from once or twice a month up to once a week. Training will be provided.


Questions? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator to learn more.


Phone: (919) 412-7011

Donation Questions? Click here.

General Questions? Click here.

Open Table Ministry is located at

215 N. Church Street, Durham NC 27701.

Our mailing address is PO Box 51363, Durham NC 27717.