Ark Aid Street Mission and its dedicated team, including kitchen manager Rick Ford, are committed to providing healthy and nutritious food to the community through innovative initiatives like the Encampment Strategy Project. This initiative provides nutrient-rich meals tailored to address the specific health needs, such as IBS, colitis, gum disease, and malnutrition, that affect 80% of community members.
Supported 90% by volunteers and community donations, the Ark emphasizes empathy, specialized diets, hiring individuals with lived experience, and fostering dignity and trust to address the root causes of community challenges. Local businesses, nonprofits, and efforts to minimize waste by composting contribute to the Ark’s success.
Donations are received from a range of corporations and nonprofit organizations like 519Pursuit. They are 98% waste free, with all efforts being made to compost their food leftovers, including eggshells from eggs donated by Burnbrae Farms. Staff and volunteers are invited to take home compost and compost is also given to the Wormery.
The Ark also provides services like counseling, hepatitis clinics, and recovery groups, and collaborates with organizations like CMHA and local hairdressers for specialized support.
Addressing mental health and personal care needs is crucial for boosting self-esteem and confidence. However, attracting and retaining qualified staff who understand the daily trauma faced by the community remains a challenge, highlighting the need for ongoing awareness, education, and support.
The Ark’s commitment is about compassion in every action. Their dedication to making a difference for the homeless population in London, one person at a time, is inspiring and showcases the potential for positive change within communities.
Supporting The Ark’s mission through donations, volunteering, or sharing their needs is a powerful way to contribute to the well-being of the community. Visit their website arkaidmission.ca learn more about how to get involved with their mission to care for and support our community.