Denver Urban Ministries (DenUM) was organized in 1981 by a group of United Methodist laity and clergy who saw a need for a concentrated response to issues related to poverty in Denver’s most impoverished neighborhoods. DenUM became incorporated as a 501(c)(3) human service agency in 1984 to provide emergency and stabilization services.
From 1981 until 1993, DenUM primarily operated a food and clothing bank. In 1993, DenUM’s Job Services was born as a program aiming to assist the hard-to-employ with support services to help them on their way to self-sufficiency. During the mid 90s, the DenUM Urban Education program began coordinating mission trips and educational immersion experiences for adults and youth.
For most of DenUM’s existence, the agency operated out of two primary locations: Grant Avenue UMC and Epworth UMC. Following a massive capital campaign, DenUM purchased and renovated an abandoned office building on East Colfax in 1997. After completing renovations in 1998, all programs and services came together to be housed in one location.
Since May of 1998, DenUM has experienced an influx of new clients because of its accessibility and central location. DenUM continues to prioritize meeting basic needs, encouraging self-sufficiency, and educating our community, and increasing numbers of people rely on DenUM during these critical times.