Firehouse Ministries

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The Firehouse Ministries is a Christian ministry which operates the Firehouse Shelter (sometimes referred to as Firehouse Mission or the Old Firehouse Shelter), a men's homeless shelter and recovery center located at 626 2nd Avenue North in Smithfield. The organization also operates fifteen other facilities in the Birmingham area.

The shelter was founded in December 1983 as an outreach program of the Cooperative Downtown Ministries. Until 2020 it was housed in the historic Birmingham Fire Station No. 6‎, which was constructed in 1905 at 1501 3rd Avenue North.

The emergency shelter offers dinner, breakfast, and showers to overnight guests, and places no specific time limit on the length of a stay. Firehouse also assists clients with job training, counseling, employment, transitional housing placement, and other forms of help based on close involvement and trusting relationships developed over time. Lunch is served daily at the downtown shelter to both men and women, whether they reside in the shelter or not. Nearly 300 men are assisted each day by Firehouse programs, and more than 100,000 meals are served from the shelter each year. Since 2002 the organization's focus has been on assisting clients in acquiring stable housing for themselves.

In 2016 Firehouse Shelter kicked off a capital campaign to raise funds for a new shelter and program center on the site of its community garden on the 600 block of 2nd Avenue North in Smithfield. The $5.8 million building, centered around an open courtyard, replaced the obsolete firehouse building and houses 100 beds with additional overflow space, as well as medical screening rooms and a chapel. The 28,000 square-foot shelter was designed by Poole & Company Architects and constructed by Dunn Building Co. and opened in February 2020. The design was honored as "Building of the Year' by the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association.

Program locations

Executive directors


  • Royer, Mike (July 17, 2013) "Spirit of Alabama: The Firehouse Shelter"
  • Satterfield, Carolyn Green (1976) "Historic Sites of Jefferson County, Alabama" Jefferson County Historical Commission
  • Gordon, Tom (March 30, 2016) "Seeking New Refuge." Weld for Birmingham
  • Shaffer, Miranda (October 26, 2021) "Birmingham’s new Firehouse Ministries Shelter wins 2021 Building of the Year." Bham Now

External Links