Community Outreach Center Dedication Ceremony Press Release
Posted: October 24, 2023
Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County to Open New Community Outreach Center, Provide Job Training to Help Elevate Residents from Poverty to Economic Mobility
Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker will be the keynote speaker at dedication event on Oct. 12 at 9 a.m.
Fort Worth, Texas – Oct. 10, 2023 – Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County (UGM-TC) will host a dedication event for its new Community Outreach Center (COC) on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker will serve as the keynote speaker.
Expanding on its 135-year history of providing a new beginning for homeless men, women and families in Tarrant County, UGM-TC will offer additional programs and services at the COC, located at 2400 N Kentucky Avenue, just west of UGM-TC’s main campus on East Lancaster Ave. Through community partnerships, the COC will help elevate unemployed and underemployed residents from poverty to economic mobility by providing them with the job training and life skills necessary to attain livable-wage employment.
Keynote speaker, Mayor Mattie Parker
“The idea for the COC was born during the early days of the pandemic when we began asking ourselves what more we could do to help individuals and families transition out of poverty and create a pathway to long-term economic security,” said Don Shisler, President and CEO of UGM-TC. “We found that many individuals were working multiple jobs simply to make ends meet. Our goal is to address the gaps in vocational training and other important skills, so these individuals can qualify for better paying jobs that will sustain themselves and their families.”
The new 27,260-square-foot building includes a state-of-the-art training facility, fulfillment center warehouse, donation center to provide household items and clothing to those in need, and the Carl R. Brumley Community Room, which will serve as both a classroom for students in the job training programs and a venue available to the community to rent for corporate or special events.
The Carl R. Brumley Community Room
UGM-TC plans to introduce its L.A.U.N.C.H. (Leading Advancement Uniting Neighborhoods & Communities Through Hope) program this winter at the COC. The program will be available first to UGM-TC residents, followed by clients of community partners then residents in the broader Fort Worth community. Initially, the L.A.U.N.C.H. program will provide vocational training for certifications in apartment complex maintenance and fulfillment center logistics.
These specific jobs were chosen due to their high demand in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex and a starting compensation of $20+ per hour depending on skill level. In the past 10 years, the DFW market has added more apartments than any other region in the United States, and DFW ranks second in the nation (behind Phoenix) for the amount of industrial storage/warehouse fulfillment space available.
In addition to job training, L.A.U.N.C.H. participants will receive trauma-informed case management to address any barriers to success as they navigate the learning experience with challenges that may occur outside the classroom.
As a Christian organization, UGM-TC relies on the generosity of the community to support its mission. The $13 million COC was funded primarily through private donations with significant contributors including the Amon G. Carter Foundation; Estate of Frances Hafer Chiles; GM Financial; J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation; Nicholas Martin Jr. Family Foundation; Paul E. Andrews, Jr. Foundation; Richard H. Moore, Jr.; Sid W. Richardson Foundation; and The Ryan Foundation.
“We are incredibly grateful to the generous donors who made our vision for the COC possible,” Shisler said. “This new facility is a community-wide effort, and our hope is that the COC will play a key role in creating a vibrant, thriving community by helping residents in need transition permanently out of poverty.”
Left to Right: Councilman Michael D. Crain, Councilwoman Elizabeth Beck, Mayor Mattie Parker, Don Shisler, Councilman Chris Nettles, Board Chairman Larry Chilton
About Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County
Founded in 1888, Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County is a united Christian organization and ministry dedicated to providing love, hope, respect and a new beginning for homeless women, men and families. UGM-TC is funded entirely by the generosity of the community and offers a residency program for individuals looking to maximize their potential and transition out of homelessness. Through the programs and services provided, individuals develop essential life skills to become independent, productive members of our community. UGM-TC is God’s healthy place to end homelessness one person at a time. For more information, visit www.ugm-tc.org.
About the Community Outreach Center
The Community Outreach Center (COC), an initiative of Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, will serve the greater Fort Worth community by providing economic mobility services to help elevate individuals and families from poverty to economic well-being. The COC will offer Economic Mobility Pathway Programs to provide unemployed and underemployed individuals and families with job training and life skills necessary to obtain livable-wage employment opportunities and create a pathway to long-term economic security. Opening in October 2023, the COC will feature a state-of-the art training facility, fulfillment center warehouse, distribution center to provide clothing and household items to those in need and a community room available for event rentals.