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 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 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, to support our friends as they choose positive change.
SPREAD THE WORD
Open Table is currently looking for the following items for our Free Store:
Jeans (especially men's jeans in small-medium sizes)
Sneakers and work boots
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.
To find out more, contact us here.
Moving? Got furniture to donate? Our Move-In Team helps furnish the apartments of our recently housed friends. If you have couches, beds, mattresses, tables, kitchen items or other household goods that you would like to donate, please contact us!
How can you help?
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
At the moment, we have a strong need for volunteers who can work at our Free Store on Tuesdays and Thursdays 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
Sign Up to Volunteer at our Free Store
We offer a "Free Store" to our community. Open every Tuesday and Thursday 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 twice a week. Training will be provided.
Questions? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator to learn more.