Moody Foundation Grants $2 Million to Galveston Urban Ministries


Moody Foundation Grants $2 Million to Galveston Urban Ministries

The Moody Foundation has granted $2 million to Galveston Urban Ministries (GUM) to build a nearly 18,000 square-foot Retreat & Training Center on Galveston Island.

GALVESTON, Texas – May 11, 2022 – The Moody Foundation has granted $2 million to Galveston Urban Ministries (GUM) to build a nearly 18,000 square-foot Retreat & Training Center on Galveston Island.

Nearly one in four Galveston residents live in poverty. At 22%, this is dramatically higher than the number of people who live below the poverty line in other areas of Texas. Though Galveston has made significant recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike, many neighbors are still caught in the cycle of poverty.

“While poverty exists throughout the Island, the north of Broadway neighborhood in which we live and serve is heavily concentrated with children and adults living in generational poverty,” said Josh Dorrell, GUM executive director. “The Retreat & Training Center will provide much-needed services for the people who live and work here, especially in our neighborhood.”

With the Center, GUM will offer services at the core of its mission, create meaningful jobs and prepare marginalized Galvestonians for competitive wage employment, while providing a consistent revenue stream and long-term sustainability for GUM.

“Galveston overflows with a rich, vibrant history made up of its hardworking people,” said Ross Moody, trustee of the Moody Foundation. “The Moody Foundation and Galveston Urban Ministries have a shared mission to rebuild the city and its communities for its future vitality.”

Once completed, the Center will serve three vital purposes:

  1. Offer year-round lodging for up to 100 paying, nightly guests and contribute to GUM’s sustainability
  2. Serve as a training center for unemployed and under-employed Galvestonians while also creating management, hospitality, tourism and marketing jobs within the complex itself
  3. Serve as a shelter and resource in times of natural disasters

“The Moody Foundation has been most generous to GUM, and we are grateful for the partnership,” added Dorrell. “We’re excited to have this kind of backing from a local foundation to show its support in such a big way.”

To read more on the Moody Foundation’s recent grants and announcements, visit


About the Moody Foundation
The Moody Foundation was established by W.L. Moody, Jr. and Libbie Shearn Moody in 1942 to share their good fortune and make a difference in the lives of the people of Texas. Since then, the Foundation has pledged and awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants throughout the state – with over $1.1 billion in Galveston giving – to organizations that have educated, healed, nurtured and inspired generations of Texans. The Moody Foundation continues with a board of three trustees: Frances Moody-Dahlberg, Ross Moody and Elizabeth Moody. Learn more at and follow the Foundation on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

About Galveston Urban Ministries (GUM)
Galveston Urban Ministries (GUM) is a relationship-focused nonprofit working to alleviate poverty in Galveston by empowering the poor and marginalized through asset-based Christian Community Development. We offer a “hand-up rather than a hand-out,” and walk with our neighbors as they do the hard work to change their life circumstances and ultimately lift themselves out of poverty. GUM is passionate about helping families lift themselves out of poverty, and we do this by developing holistic relationships and programs. Our goal is to build resilience and hope in children, mentor youth as they graduate from high school and pursue higher education or fulfilling employment, prepare adults for competitive wage jobs, strengthen families and transform our community.

Kami Bailey representing Moody Foundation
[email protected]