If you or someone you know is homeless, has run away from home or needs immediate help, call our 24 hour crisis hotline at 1-800-873-8336.
Staff are ready and able to meet your immediate needs at our Drop-In Center. Stop in at one of the times and locations below to receive crisis intervention, food, access to resources, and personalized support.
- Tuesday through Saturday at The Ark (990 West Kilgore) from 5 PM - 9 PM.
- Monday at the VanDomelen Center (1441 South Westnedge) from 3 PM - 5 PM.
Want directions to The Ark Shelter from your community? Click here.
What is The Ark?
The Ark helps youth and families who are in crisis become stable, develop strong and healthy relationships, and develop positive, achievable goals for the future.
The Ark is physically located in Kalamazoo, but serves youth and their families in nine counties across southwest Michigan. The Ark Shelter is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is always available via the crisis line (above). The Ark works with runaway youth, homeless youth, and youth in crisis, as well as their families. Youth may stay for up to 21 days and receive individual case management as well as two daily group sessions. Family members are encouraged to participate in sessions and counseling is available through our Bridges program, if desired. Services are also provided in the community and any family can request a remote assessment, with staff coming to you to discuss the program and see if we can help!
The Ark seeks to provide a safe place for youth and families to work on their goals, to reunite youth with their families, to empower youth to identify healthy life style behaviors and to develop positive decision-making skills.
What happens when a youth or family calls The Ark?
The youth, family, and staff work together to understand the challenges/issues (as well as family skills and strengths) through completing an assessment -- this also helps us determine if The Ark will be able to help the youth and family. Both the youth and the family have to agree that the youth can participate. All services are voluntary to eligible families.
Once the youth is admitted into the program, the youth, family members, and staff develop an individualized person-centered plan with specific goals. Staff work with the entire family to make progress on those goals while at The Ark -- and for up to 90 days afterward. If needed, Ark staff make referrals to partner agencies and help youth and families get the help they need to succeed.
The Ark serves youth and families in Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. There is no fee for services (with the possible exception of mental healthy counseling). If a youth lives in an outlying county or if transportation is an issue, remote "on-site" assessments are available and transportation will be provided to the shelter. Just call and let us know what you need!
Shelter and stabilization services are also available for youth awaiting longer-term placements or living arrangements. There is a fee for this service. Respite care is also available by arrangement on a fee basis. If you'd like to know more, call us!
Anyone may call The Ark 24-hour toll free crisis line: 1-800-873-8336 for help with problems or to inquire about services available at The Ark. It's confidential - call for help today!
Photos of The Ark
The Entrance to The Ark.
The picnic area and courtyard at The Ark.
The Assessment and Counseling Room.
The Recreation and Activity Room.
All youth and families are welcome at The Ark. Call us anytime and we will do what we can to help you!