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In the summer of 2010 while jogging on the streets of Chicago, God broke Josh Dorrell’s heart for the city of Galveston. It was four little words that did it: “Galveston is the place”. Josh described it as the “clearest voice I had ever heard”. He went home and told his wife Danielle who was at home with their one year old daughter Zoe (???). Barely able to pick out Galveston on a map, the Dorrells packed up and found themselves in Galveston that very same weekend.

Armed with a 3 year start up grant from Christian Mission Concerns, they hit ground running, diving into the relief effort. The Dorrells moved into the North Broadway neighborhood, the hardest hit (???) community in Galveston and began just doing life with their neighbors.  (hardest hit? Worst off economically) Not only did they organized street camps for the neighborhood kids, but Josh also took a job at Wright Cuney, a local rec center. Having been part of Mission Waco with his parents Jimmy and Janet Dorrell, Josh knew that in order to affect real change his neighbors needed to be a part of the solution. So he began interviewing everyone he came across, asking them “how can we make this neighborhood we love better?” As the answers came pouring, but three solutions seemed to out shine the rest: after-school programs for kids, mentoring programs for youth, and adult job training. From these needs Galveston Urban Ministries was born.

(from left to right) Josh, Danielle, Zeke, Zane, Zoe Dorrell

(from left to right) Josh, Danielle, Zeke, Zane, Zoe Dorrell

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27 miles longs and only 3 miles at it’s widest point, Galveston, Texas begins where US 45 ends. Home to institutions like UTMB Galveston, Texas’s oldest medical school where Aggies and Longhorns somehow live side by side in harmony, Galveston is filled with an eclectic mix of surfers, retirees, professionals, and artists. Most locals classify themselves as either B.O.I (Born On The Island) or I.B.C. (Islander By Choice). Tourists flock to Galveston year round to go "back in time" at Dickens on the Strand, cool off at Schlitterbahn Waterpark, or just hang out at the beach. These visitors will push the normal population of 63,000 up by 100,000 on the weekends and even more during holidays! With over 60 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places and being home to a myriad of historically significant events like the Juneteenth Proclamation, Galveston is overflowing with rich, vibrant history. 

Like every city, Galveston has its challenges. The average income in Galveston is around $36,000 a year, well below the national average, while the living wage remains high at $26 an hour. Though the city has done an amazing job recovering after Hurricane Ike, there are still many of our neighbors caught in the cycle of poverty. In the neighborhood we work in, average income can drop to almost $9,000 a year! Our goal is to see our city thrive and North Broadway become a community people want to live in rather than leave!

For more information on our great city check out:



It all started when...

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