Urban Purpose exists to build relationships with those in need throughout our city, surround them with safe people, and offer healthy options for them to utilize in the journey of rebuilding their lives.

When you know someone’s name, when you sit with them and you share a meal, and when you hear their story, then the doors open for us to do some pretty incredible things here in our city in caring for people that are desperate to know how much they’re loved.








We meet people through referrals, our weekly Sunday meals, and events at The Compound.  

We get to know people and assess their struggles, circumstances, and needs as we build relationships with them. 

We develop a personalized plan for each individual we work with based on the unique challenges he or she is trying to overcome.

We surround people with community and accountability as we walk with them through the process of getting back on their feet.

our process


meet people where they are


sunday meal




single mothers

chronically homeless

-Safe house
-Recovery program access
-Mental healthcare
-Long-term employment opportunity
-Transitional housing

-Safe people & places
-Mental healthcare
-Basic physical needs

-Jobs programs
-Childcare assistance
-Financial Management
-Long-term employment opportunity
-Mental healthcare

-Jobs program
-Financial management
-Long-term employment 

our story:

In 2009, Jim McFarland felt the Lord moving him towards something different. He had been in construction his entire professional career and at this point he owned his own company. As he became more and more dissatisfied with construction, he felt drawn to serve the homeless in Birmingham, AL.

Mark Jenkins worked in student ministry ever since graduating from Beeson Divinity School in 2007. He knew both of Jim’s sons through their involvement in the student ministry at Shades Mountain Baptist Church and got to know Jim more as he lead his youngest son’s discipleship group for a number of years.

Mark was always interested in getting the students involved in serving those in need around Birmingham and was intrigued when Jim approached him about getting the students involved in something that served the homeless on a consistent basis.

So, in January of 2010 they took a group of students to hand out coats, sleeping bags, blankets, and hand warmers to the homeless. That afternoon Jim met a group of men and a few women that were living a few blocks away under I-65. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, more and more trips were taken back under the bridge to provide firewood, basic physical needs, and to share a meal.

As relationships with this group continued to develop and grow, Jim and Mark became increasingly aware of the complexity and depth of what these men and women were struggling to overcome. Urban Purpose was born out of their desire to provide good options these men and women and walk with them through the long, difficult journey of them regaining control of their lives.

donate today