It's Their Survival
Updated: May 5, 2022
It just has been four days out of 45 days, as the journey continues, much has been learnt. Some ask, “Why 45 days? Well, it all started two years ago, 2019. It was placed in the founder's heart to do more than what he was previous doing, which was conducting street outreach in downtown and passing out snack bags. he wanted to know what the immediate need for our homeless street kids were, however there had to be more than this. So, he decided to sleep out for 7 days. It was an experience and a lot of walking.
A year later, in June 2020, he decided again to go out for four days straight for 6 hours and tend to the kids needs only. It was rough! Services were shut down because of COVID. But who was taking resources to these youth? No one was doing it at the time. But as he and a few team members went out, the need was so much greater than they expected. It took a mental, emotional, and physical toll on the whole team; but we made it through.
In our efforts to understand the youths’ needs, the founder created a food network team to donate homecooked meals passed out by the outreach teams to hand out to the kids. This was a transformation for them. The teams were starting to build more trusting relationships than ever before.
After the four days we went back to our normal but changing how we use our operational systems. The youth did not like for the fact the team members were going back to 2 days a week as before. This is how presently, Our Ark still continues with four days a week. Moving into September 2020, the teams and food network, were going strong until burnout kicked in. To curve the burnout, team members are only to conduct outreach once a week.
Our youth are only getting 1/5 basic human survival needs met: Oxygen. What they are not consistently getting are: food, water, sleep and shelter/clothing. But this is not all the human basic needs. It is the connection of belonging, community the youth needed from caring adults. Once they have reached the success in the top 5 survival needs they are able to reach further in the role of future healthy young adults.
The demanding of this role the volunteer counselors had was even more so; this caused us to have a huge turn around in volunteers. With only seven counselor this does not met the full survival needs.
We need your help in caring for the whole wellness of homeless street youth. How does the youth get clothing and food? Do we bring these items to them, or they come to us? It can be both. But it is sometimes challenging but rewarding at the same time on the counselors as well. To fit the need of youth, we need 10 volunteers to one youth. To be able to provide we need in-kind donation, monetary funds, and place of safety and home. The Founder is asking you to join us in breaking these cycles of hopelessness and creating hope.