GREENVILLE, S.C. (February 16, 2017) – United Ministries’ Uniting for Change Luncheon returns with a focus on housing, April 20, 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency. Presented by Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, the Uniting for Change Luncheon draws community-minded and engaged individuals, congregations, civic leaders, and business professionals from all across the Greenville area for a thought-provoking session on poverty and charity.

Along with partners in the Sociology and Poverty Studies areas at Furman University, United Ministries is bringing noted ethnographer Dr. Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. In 2015, Desmond was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Grant for “revealing the impact of eviction on the lives of the urban poor and its role in perpetuating racial and economic inequality.”

Dr. Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project at Harvard University. Desmond based his award-winning book Evicted on years of living alongside eight families and two landlords in Milwaukee.  His work transforms the reader’s understanding of extreme poverty while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem.

“Our cities have become unaffordable to our poorest families, and this problem is leaving a deep and jagged scar on our next generation,” Desmond says. “Every year in this country, people are evicted from their homes not by the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands but by the millions.”

The 2017 Uniting for Change Luncheon follows an exciting inaugural event in 2015 featuring Robert Lupton, the author of Toxic Charity. The luncheon will capitalize on the groundswell of concern from many in the Greenville community around affordable housing in our area. Greenville has experienced tremendous economic growth over the past several years, and there is increasing concern with how this progress affects those in our community who live near or below the poverty line. Mayor Knox White will give an update on affordable housing initiatives by the City of Greenville at the luncheon.

”We expect to have an engaged, caring audience on hand to hear Dr. Matthew Desmond address the crucial topic of affordable housing,” says Tony McDade, executive director of United Ministries. “By reputation and expertise he is among the foremost scholars exploring the poverty dynamics of the urban landscape nationwide, and his comments will be compelling.”

Tickets are available online at All proceeds from the event benefit United Ministries’ programs that serve and empower those in our community who are striving to achieve self-sufficiency.

The event is made possible through the generosity of our sponsors, including Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, Dority & Manning, Reynolds Investment Management, United Community Bank, CRH Properties LLC, Craig Gaulden Davis, and Spinx.  Media sponsors include GSA Business and GRACE Outdoor. For sponsorship opportunities, please call 864-335-2614.

About United Ministries
Located in downtown Greenville’s West End, United Ministries has been working for 47 years to give everyone the opportunity to participate in the prosperity of our community.  Originally established by local congregations to meet the crisis needs of people living in poverty, the agency has evolved to focus on developing the potential each family possesses to become self-sufficient – and even to thrive.  The agency’s integrated service model discourages dependency on charity and promotes the dignity of work.  For more information on United Ministries please visit or call 864-335-2614.