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Frequently Asked Questions

You Asked, We Answered

How do homeless youth differ from adults?

Homeless youth are different from homeless adults because they often have not learned the essential life skills needed to live on their own; like how to drive, ride a bus, get a job, or pay bills. Our employment and life skills programs will aid in transitioning our youth to successful adulthood. The second major difference between street youth and homeless adults, is that street youth typically lack the experiences and resources to successfully live independently, at least in the short run. Most wind up on the streets without much – if any – experience of renting or running a household. Young people often couch-surf between friends and family and many do not identify as homeless. They are at higher risk of exploitation and trafficking on the streets. Additionally, young peopl's brains are still developing and do not reach maturation until the age of 25. For this reason, the adult homeless system is often unsafe for young adults

What is the target population?

Our Ark's target population are homeless street youth and young adults ages 13-25, who are surviving on the streets in tents, man made less structured spaces settled in campsites, the woods, couch surfing, vehicles, etc. With our current synopsis there are over 172 youth and young adults surviving in the county.

Where did the name 'Our Ark' come from?

Our Ark came from the depths of the heart to service, protect our youth from the ever changing world of destructive patterns they forsee everyday. 'Our' is a symbol of belonging to and something associated with themselves, youth and young adults can relate to. 'Ark' is space, place, not just a building, but built for their survival and protection against the storms and nature. Youth and young adults should be able to say ' I am going to a place that is related to me, associated as a refuge from calamities which appear to threaten my whole well-being. I need security in the midst of the great dangers and assurance in a time of stressors and anxieties. I am going to "Our Ark"

Does Our Ark have a religious or political affiliation?

No, our Ark is an independent, nonprofit organization that has no religious or political affiliation. Our Ark help youth regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds.

How does Our Ark fund its programs?

Operating revenues come from charitable donors committed to the aims of th eorganization. In addition the organization seeks private sponors, private foundations, gifts in-kind, and through fund raiser event. Each year Our Ark organizaes a giving campaign known as "Walk A Night In Their Shoes". This event support the operations and programs within the organization. Our Ark is 100% led, therefore, all funds and gift in-kind donations go directly to the building of the youth and programs.

Does Our Ark train its volunteers?

Yes, volunteers go through an extensive training program , consisting of two 2-hours classes and two days of street outreach to prepare volunteers for working with homeless street youth and young adults. Those who want to work directly with youth usually become Street Outreach Counselors and recieve additional training by walking the streets with experienced team members and performing role-plays with street youth.