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.
Homeless Youth Program
The Homeless Youth Program serves youth 16-20 in Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Barry, St. Joseph, Allegan, Branch, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren and Eaton counties. Services include crisis intervention, counseling, problem-solving, assistance with affordable and safe housing plus education, employment andlife skills training.
Transitional Living Program
The Transitional Living Program serves youth ages 16-21 in Kalamazoo County. We assist youth who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless by enabling them to become stable adults through a wide variety of services. These may include assistance with living skills, aid in finding housing and support in maintaining a positive housing environment. We offer weekly “Life Skills Groups” to help youth form friendships, build support systems and develop essential life skills.
Street Outreach Program
The Street Outreach Program reaches out to homeless youth who are in crisis, meeting them at their point of need. Services are provided on the street or at drop-in centers in Calhoun and Kalamazoo Counties. Youth are provided with information, referrals, and crisis intervention services. Case management is provided to those youth who need longer term support. For more information call 269-381-9800.
Staff members are available to come to your school or organization to provide information about all the services offered by The Ark.
How We Help Youth
Case Management & Counseling
Case managers support youth on an individual basis, helping them to establish person-centered plans, developed around their personal situation and needs. Professional mental-health counseling is provided through our Bridges progrm.
Support services are offered to help youth develop essential independent living skills, such as money management, household maintenance, interviewing and resume skills and locating safe and affordable housing. These skills are learned through weekly groups and through one on one relationships.
Drop In Center
Every Monday from 3 PM to 5 PM Drop In Centers are held at The Van Domelen Center (1441 S. Westnedge Ave in Kalamazoo). Homeless youth between the ages of 16 -21 may stop by for free food, personal care items, shower and laundry facilities, access to computers, one-on-one consultation with a case manager and referrals to community resources. Drop-Ins are also offered in Calhoun County and Allegan County -- contact us at 269-381-9800 to learn when they will occur as times and locations vary each month.
Youth receive personal hygiene supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and lotion. Some clothing and nonperishable food items are also available on a limited basis. Referrals are provided as needed to ensure all youth receive necessary supplies.
Transitional Housing Opportunities -- Scattered Site
We have a variety of Transitional Housing Opportunities for homeless youth ages 18-21. Please contact Phyllis Senesi at 269-381-9800 to learn more about these options.
The Ark Cottages -- Permanent Supportive Housing
The Ark Cottages include nine units for older homeless youth, ages 18-24 when entering the program. Youth create a housing plan and receive services to help them be successful in their new home. Contact us at 269-381-9800 for more information.
The Ark Shelter
The Ark is a only short-term, voluntary shelter serving nine counties in southwest Michigan. Youth ages 10-17 who have run away, are in danger of becoming homeless or who are in a crisis situation are eligible. Counseling and support services are offered to youth and their families. Contact us at 269-343-8765 for more information.
Caring Network Apartments
Transitional living apartments for pregnant and/or parenting women who are participating in the Caring Network program. Contact us at 269-381-1234.
Are you (or someone you know) dealing with any of the following issues?
Depression, anxiety or panic attacks, addiction, gay, lesbian or gender identity issues, relationship conflicts, anger, fear, sexual abuse, grief or loss, child behavior problems or any other family or relationship issues?
Adult Apartments in Otsego
Baraga Manor, Otsego Senior Apartments, is a 48 unit, one bedroom apartment complex for seniors 62+ and mobility impaired adults. If you'd like to know more -- or take a tour -- give us a call at 269-694-9711. Our printable brochure is also available by clicking here. We are always accepting applications and welcome you to visit our community!