Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever had a question about The Firehouse Shelter or homelessness and didn’t know where to find the answer? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This section is a compilation of answers to the questions most commonly asked by our constituents. Just start by following one of the links below.

In an effort to educate the public more thoroughly about the issues surrounding homelessness we have dedicated our new website to increasing your knowledge and how you can become more involved as a volunteer to deal more effectively with the homeless men in our community.

If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. What does The Firehouse Shelter do?
  2. How can I get involved?
  3. If I were to donate funds, how would my money used?
  4. Isn't The Firehouse Shelter just a soup kitchen and a shelter?
  5. Where does the bulk of your funding come from?
  6. How does a church become a Partner Congregation of The Firehouse Shelter?
  1. The Firehouse Shelter ministers to homeless men in the Birmingham, AL metro area. We meet immediate food, shelter, clothing, and the personal hygiene needs for men who find themselves in crisis mode. Once we are able to determine what caused this particular homeless episode, we work very diligently and patiently to assist these men to achieve housing stability and their full potential as a person.

    For a list of specific programs and services we provide, visit our What We Do section.

  2. Visit our Get Involved section to find out ways to donate or volunteer. There is a TOP 10 LIST provided where you will likely see how your gifts and talents could be used to benefit the homeless men of our community. Perhaps the best way to GET INVOLVED is to INVITE A FRIEND WITH YOU so you can both enjoy the fruits of your labors! We look forward to seeing you soon!

  3. Unless otherwise indicated, your funds will be used in the general operating budget. 93% of every dollar donated sustains and helps us grow our programs and services that directly affect our men.

    Our IRS Form 990 is available for review, as required by law. Visit our Financials Tab to review the 2011 financial report. It is located in the Resource section of the website.

  4. NO! And it hasn't been operating that way for years. The Firehouse Shelter has grown considerably over the years. Today we operate 16 different sites, 15 of which provide housing to previously homeless men trying to put the pieces of their lives back together again. Make sure you check out the WHO WE ARE and WHAT WE DO Sections to learn about all the great things we do for the homeless population of Birmingham.

  5. In any given year, 67%-72% of our funding comes from public sources such as HUD Grants (Housing and Urban Development), ESG (Emergency Shelter Grants), FEMA Grants (Federal Emergency Management Assistance), ADECA ()and CDBG (Community Development Block Grants).

    28%-33% of our funding comes from private sources such as churches, individuals, businesses, corporations, and foundations. Our goal is to achieve a 50/50 public/private split so that we are not weighted heavily in any one area.

    Thus, we have made it a primary goal to increase our funding from all private sources in the coming years. We are challenging all members of our community to increase their level of giving to our cause. Check out the GET INVOLVED section to learn how you can help us financially or DONATE NOW!

  6. It's really easy! There are 4 simple steps each church must take to become a Partner Congregation.

    1. Pray for us, our mission, and the homeless men we serve.
    2. Send volunteers on a regular basis to one of our sites or programs to meet the needs of the homeless men we serve. Most churches send volunteers 1X/month. A few churches provide volunteers quarterly.
    3. Nominate and appoint a church member to serve as a representative on The Firehouse Shelter's Board of Directors. Each church has a seat on the Board of Directors for a two year term. The Board Meetings are held the second Thursday of every month from 5:45 pm - 7: 15 pm @ Shades Valley Presbyterian Church off Montevallo Rd in Birmingham.
    4. Allocate a portion of the church budget to be donated to the ministry at The Firehouse Shelter. The most important thing financially is that it becomes a regular, consistent, budgeted mission line item. Sending a check monthly helps us greatly with our cash flow. In the past, congregations have donated anywhere between .25%-1% of their annual gross budget to The Firehouse Shelter.

    Feeling led to get your church to become a Partner Congregation? Call Anne Wright, Executive Director, today @ 205-252-9576. She would be thrilled to get you started!