History

Restoration Urban Ministries was founded in 1973 by Rev. Ervin Williams and a handful of caring individuals in the Champaign-Urbana community. The organization began with community-based programs, including a food and clothing pantry. Before long many of the individuals receiving services expressed a need for safe housing.

In 1997, Restoration acquired an old motel adjacent to their existing facility and shortly thereafter, the organization’s transitional housing program was launched. Today, residents are accepted for residency, and as a requirement, must attend classes and counseling in self-sufficiency, job skills and training, financial management, budgeting, life-coping skills, discipleship, word power, food preparation and nutrition, and smoking cessation/recovery. These classes and counseling services are offered in partnership with many area businesses and agencies.

In 2004, a 10,000 square foot warehouse also adjacent to their growing facilities became available. The space was renovated into a worship center, classrooms, child care facilities, office space, and a large kitchen.

Since 1973, Restoration has helped to lead over 4,000 individuals towards self-sufficiency, employment, and housing. Their over 75% success rate makes them one of the region’s high-impacting non-profit organizations.