A R K - Newsletter

ARK Newsletter

ARK's drop-in centre on Gottingen Street continues to be vibrant, busy, and growing. Two evenings a week we welcome 20-30 street youth (and 5-10 street dogs) for a delicious supper. Caring individuals who prepare the food ahead of time and deliver it to us donate most of the meals. Mealtime brings everyone together and is, therefore, and extremely important part of the centre. Although some youth just come to eat, many others spend entire evenings at the drop-in centre doing various activities involving art, computers, cards, sewing, discussion, and much more. Clearly, evenings at the drop-in are always diverse and active. Days at the drop-in are somewhat different because they are more growth-oriented. The youth can come to eat, but then must work on something productive (apartment/job searches, resumes, filling out forms, etc). Friday afternoons are also quite special because they are arts-centred. There is a pottery program that has already produced beautiful works, and plans for a mural are now being put into action. We are excited to learn more from our street youth. The centre is maturing as we continue to walk alongside one another.

Do You Know Him?

People are astonished at him,
    so marred is his appearance -
beyond human semblance.

There is nothing in his appearance
    that is desirable.

We despise and reject him - Spring
    Garden Road is off limits.

He suffers and is a wreck physically.
People who pass him hide their faces,
    avert their eyes.

He is diseased, afflicted,
    wounded, crushed.
He is punished and has a black eye.

He is:
    a panhandler?
    a refugee?
    a drunk?
    The Lord?

Isaiah 52, 53
Who believes our report?
Sunday Supper Update

St.Andrew's Church (at the corner of Coburg and Robie) is still our locale, and great food and celebration is still our tradition. During the summer months we are often short of help as many students, families and other consistent volunteers are away. So come on out some Sunday afternoon and discover the joys of serving and sharing a meal with your neighbours!

Thank You

We wish to express our gratitude to those of you who recognize Christ on the street and have so generously supported our work. In particular, special donations have allowed us to purchase a new washer and dryer as well as a brand new 'fußball' table for the drop-in. Your consistent gifts support two full-time and two part-time staff members for our weekly daytime hours.

We are still in need, however, of more regular, pre-authorized contributions so that we can continue to provide consistent and stable support to the homeless community we serve.
Thank You!

Knowing Our Neighbourhood...

  • Amount of federal money allocated for affordable social housing programs since 1993: 0$
  • Province with the highest level of substandard housing: Nova Scotia
  • Number of people in HRM who sleep either in a shelter or in unaffordable, unsafe, substandard or overcrowded "housing" conditions on any given night: 1300-3000
  • Amount of active and enforced rent control legislation in HRM: none
  • Cost of an 8'x 8' room (no kitchen, no bathroom) in Halifax: $450
  • Charge for "squeegeeing" (cleaning windshields): "Failure to use a sidewalk"
  • Fine that can accompany the above-mentioned charge: $117.25
  • Charge for holding a sign (for change, food, shelter, etc): "Placing a sign without a permit"
  • Fine that can accompany the above-mentioned charge: $215

Living Proof

     Damien has been coming to the drop-in centre since its very earliest days. He knows as well as anybody what a place like the centre can mean to a young person. When asked why he keeps coming back, Damien had very clear reasons: "Good, friendly people, a comfortable environment, and honest people willing to help."
Like Damien, Jill and Debbie are drop-in "veterans". In their friendship, the ARK goal of fostering respectful and lasting relationships has been realized. When asked to comment on how the drop-in centre has influenced their relationship, they said...
     Jill: "Because fun is the common bond we share, barriers like fashion or social status carry no meaning."
     Debbie: "The drop-in has allowed us to develop an easy friendship where we can play cards, laugh together or talk about things that matter. Over the last year we have had lots of opportunities to do this."

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