Photos by Klodian Butler © 2009

FROM THE HEART

 

We may have been broken, shaken, squashed and molded but it has all been in the better interest of The Ark Association's future strength and sustainability. Sometimes it is necessary to tear down in order to rebuild rather than continuing to build upon a foundation that is in danger of collapsing in the future. There were many avenues of possibility presented to us in the early stages of our development. Unfortunately, we were like babes in a candy store wanting to have everything we could see. The lessons learned have made us better and more aware of what it really takes in order to become a community foundation of the magnitude of our visions and aspirations of our goals. The setbacks, losses and heated scorn were difficult to accept and hard to swallow. Being naïve to the red-tape that would bind our hands and cripple our projects did not help. Making plans based on the promises of outside support proved to be difficult to complete when those promises didn't materialize as realities. Mix these things with the fallibility of our own human error and misjudgment and we believe you can see the picture of chaos and confusion. It is only through the eyes of a visionary that these items can be seen as positive!

We corporately apologize to our supporters for our shortcomings, downfalls and losses. Several of our attempted ventures now lay in the debris of collapse as a result of premature zeal, short-sighted plans and lack of knowledge. We must admit we were ill-prepared to sustain the multiple programs we were starting at once. Emily's Place, a haven for women, received the initial financial seed to obtain the bid on the property but then fell to a loss of promised additional finances necessary to purchase the property. The Fallout Shelter, a recovery house for men, was opened in February 2004. Multiple factors came into play and it became necessary to close the house down due to foreclosure by the bank. These programs have been put back on the shelf for a future time. We still believe these programs to be sound and viable; however, we were rushing off to start them in our zealous timing and perhaps not God's Divine Timing.

Our outreach program to the homeless, Takin' It To The Streets, has been sustainable since its inception of March 2001. For this we are truly grateful. The people out on the streets have come to depend on our group being there throughout the years. It is wonderful when former participants come back to share their successes with finding employment, housing and getting free from their addictions. They have come to trust that The Ark Association will be at the Roosevelt Park at 2:00 p.m. every Saturday, as we have increased our capacity to serve. We have achieved one of our most important goals of developing relationships that encourage, nurture and motivate the individuals we come in contact with during the outreach to take advantage of programs being offered and in becoming more productive members of society.

The Ark Association is in a process of new birth and coming through these growing pains with a deeper level of commitment to seeing the mission, goals and vision come full circle to impact the community in which we live, learn, laugh and love. We are being assisted in this process from individuals who have years of experience in the nonprofit realm and were birthed at a real time of upheaval in society. We were awarded several Compassion Capital Initiative grants from New Detroit, Inc. These grants have given us the opportunity to attend various workshops, work with industry professionals, "free" consultation hours, technological support and continuing education seminars/webinars. This assistance has contributed to the increased development of our organization and the Takin' It To The Streets program. The information and assistance being afforded us is invaluable to the entire organization. We are looking forward to a promising future and an infrastructure designed to withstand the test of time. As a result, we will able to be in loving service to the community for many years to come.

Along with our organizational "new birth," we have a new look to The Ark logo, brochure, and website. Please take the time to read the various pages about us! We appreciate any and all feedback. Most of all… if you like what we are about, please be sure and sign in for more info or join us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

 
 
   
    © The Ark Association, a 501(c)3 nonprofit located in Detroit, Michigan.