C-U at Home was founded in 2011 by Melany Jackson. Her passion and commitment to serving the homeless stemmed from a history of helping those in need. Between 2005-2008 she earned her Master of Divinity in Kansas City, in addition to being a leader for Midwestern Evangelism Teams. These groups spent a couple of hours in the downtown core each week ministering to people from every walk of life, which included many who were needy. In 2009, she moved back to Champaign and spent a year serving at Salt & Light, a ministry dedicated to helping those in need with basic food and clothing.

Then, in December of 2010, Melany began going out on the Canteen Run, a ministry of Partnering Against Homelessness and The Salvation Army, dedicated to taking food, clothing, hygiene products and information out on a truck to those who were in need in the community. On a very cold, winter night, everything changed when she met someone in need that was showing early signs of frostbite. The Canteen Run team prayed for the man, asking God to keep him safe and warm. Melany was shocked when the man asked if he could pray for them, that they would be safe and warm that night. That moment changed everything for her.

In May of 2011, she moved to Restoration Urban Ministries in order to live in a transitional housing setting herself, while leading this effort to serve the homeless population. In April of 2011 Melany was elected to chair the Council of Service Providers to the Homeless. These organizations are all committed to serving the homeless population. In May of 2012, Melany was appointed as the Executive Director of C-U at Home. She served as the Executive Director of C-U at Home for the next six years, eventually overseeing a staff of six.. She was followed in leadership by her Managing Director, Robert Dalhaus III (2018-2021). Melissa Courtwright has served as Executive Director since November of 2021.

C-U at Home's offices and the Phoenix Center moved to its current location at 70 E. Washington St. in Champaign (the former TIMES Center) in the Fall of 2018. Year-round shelters for men and women were added in 2020, and major renovations to the facilities were completed during the Summer of 2021.

Learn more about our history by watching a video from our founder or scrolling through some photos of C-U at Home through the years to the right! (More pictures from our One Winter Night events are located under "Media" menu tab).


In July of 2018, Melany Jackson released her memoir, More than Enough: Miraculous Provision Revealed Through C-U at Home for Our Friends Without an Address (right). The book takes you on Melany's faithful adventure of starting and growing a ministry, while displaying how God worked miracles as she followed her calling!

The Start of C-U at Home

C-U at Home through the years!