HISTORY

Body & Soul is an ecumenical, community and faith-based non-profit homeless ministry founded in February of 1997 in Dallas, Texas by St. Paul United Methodist Church. During that year a partnership was formed with Highland Park Presbyterian Church. Since that time First Richardson United Methodist Church has joined the partnership. Volunteers assisting with the operation of the ministry are from Highland Park United Methodist Church, West Irving Church of God in Christ, Reaching the Heart of the Street Ministry and West Mesquite Baptist Church.

Body & Soul has been housed twenty years in the basement of historic St. Paul United Methodist Church in the Dallas Arts District. St. Paul was established in 1873 and designated a city, state and national historic landmark for its architectural, cultural and social significance. It is the oldest and only African American church in downtown Dallas. This year in 2017, Body & Soul celebrates its 20th year!

MISSION

Partner with the public and private sectors to inspire persons experiencing homelessness to lead hopeful and productive lives.

PROGRAMS

Meals: Body & Soul provides hot nutritious meals on weekends that are cooked on site by volunteers, filling a gap on the week-end when meals for the homeless are scarce. Saturday breakfast and Sunday dinner meals are served along with inspirational messages, praise and song. For over 20 years meals have been served by hundreds of volunteers from churches, sororities, youth groups, community organizations, small businesses and other non-profit groups.

Volunteer Opportunities: Body & Soul, through its programs, provides opportunities for individuals, groups and organizations to serve in an outreach and mission project.

Social Services: Body & Soul makes referrals to organizations and agencies that provide housing, employment search/counseling, substance abuse counseling and mental healthcare counseling to the homeless. Homeless providers are invited to speak during meals to inform the homeless of resources available to help overcome homelessness.

Speaker Program: Body and Soul invites “over-comers” and inspirational speakers to share the Gospel and provide words of encouragement, testimonials and hope through the Word of Jesus Christ.

Bible Study Class: Bible study classes are developed for those who are interested in deepening their relationship with God with structured reading and studying of the Bible.

Homeless Youth Program: Body and Soul supports the initiative of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) to address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness. Volunteers partner with the DISD Spence Middle School Drop-In Center on Thursday mornings by providing a lite breakfast and inspirational speakers addressing topics of interest. Students are tracked during the school year and provided support to assist them in staying in school.

Homeless Women’s Program: (New Initiative) The United Methodist Women of St. Paul (UMW) have adopted the homeless women of Body & Soul to address the special needs and issues women experience who are homeless. Body & Soul formed a partnership with MDHA to implement a “Room in the Inn” Program at St. Paul. “Room in the Inn” is a one-night safe place of shelter in a church for selected homeless individuals to experience a respite from the extreme cold or heat. These sleep-overs are done through-out the year. Body & Soul identifies 10 homeless women to participate. The expansion of this program will include UMW of First UMC of Dallas and Warren UMC.

Clothes/Toiletries Pantry: Body and Soul provides to-go bags with snacks and toiletries for the weekend. A mini-clothes closet is sometimes provided by donations from partner groups.

Advocacy: Body & Soul advocates and publicly supports initiatives that strive to bring awareness of public policy and issues that impact persons experiencing homelessness.

Community Service: Body & Soul is a program that supports community service requests from students in school systems and the city and county court systems to satisfy school or court community service requirements.

Outreach Program for MDHA: As a Week-end Drop-In Meal Program, Body and Soul assist the efforts and goals of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) to assess homeless individuals in the housing process. A goal is to assist homeless individuals in identifying obstacles in being housed that Body & Soul can assist them in overcoming.

Funeral and Memorial Services: Body & Soul opens the doors of St. Paul UMC to celebrate and remember the lives of persons who have died that experienced homelessness, and do not have a place to be laid to rest with dignity. Friends and family are invited to honor their lives.

Contact Person: Leah Parker – lcparker01@sbcglobal.net or 214-668-9219

Body & Soul Donation Fund