“The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be—and experience—a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned—oh, how it will be returned!” ~ Luke 14:12-14
A small group decided that these words affected who they invited to Christmas dinner. Hosting a meal for members of the homeless community was the beginning of feasting and meeting together at the Sunday Supper. In January 2019, after 30+ years of hosting meals in St. Andrew’s Church building, Sunday Supper became their official ministry. Contact Sunday Suppers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Drop-in evolved out of a desire to create a safe place, a sanctuary for youth who were sleeping on our streets. We welcomed youth from across Canada for 25 years; this space became home to hundreds. Like any home, the centre offered daily meals, showers, laundry facilities, and access to other basics like clothing and socks to the youth who came through our door.
As of July 1, 2018 ARK completed packing up and purging the past 20 years of life together at the drop-in due to the challenge of balancing our resources with the growing demands of repairs and maintenance to an old building.
We celebrated the two decades we lived in our beautiful home on Gottingen Street: sharing meals, laughter, tears and conversation, beautiful music and incredible creativity, friendship, compassion, news of births and, sadly, news of far too many deaths.
We truly shared life and found home together.
Packing up the drop-in was not the end, but a hopeful step toward something new. In moving forward, ARK met with young visionaries from our community, as well as key partners and committed supporters, to dream of possibilities for the future. It became clear as we listened that:
ARK is unique;
the drop-in, our place of welcome and community, is missed;
and we will carry the essence of home, support and relationships into whatever is growing.