The mission of The Ark is the same today as it was when it first opened its doors back in 1989: to continue to fulfill the vision of its founders by being an efficient, effective way for the religious community to pool resources and help people find self-sufficiency with hope and self-respect in the face of economic hardship. The Ark acts as an advocate for “neighbors” (the term used for The Ark’s clients) and offers help using its own funds, as well as monies, services and resources from other social service agencies and private charities in the community.


Since opening in 1989, the Ark has provided over $1,000,000 in financial assistance to over 35,000 individuals and families in need and continues to serve as an extension of over 30 local religious congregations representing different religious traditions. These congregations support The Ark with financial and human (volunteer) resources.

The assistance our neighbors receive from The Ark prevents homelessness and loss of utilities. The Ark serves the low-income citizens of Athens Clarke and surrounding counties who are facing financial emergencies and are struggling to meet life’s basic needs. These include people who are working in one or more low-wage jobs, disabled or elderly and living on fixed incomes, facing increasing costs of living, stagnant wages and a lack of affordable housing and often without a network of support.

Many of our neighbors live paycheck to paycheck, making difficult choices on a daily basis among rent, utilities, food, health care, day care and so much more. An unexpected expense can throw these families into financial crisis. When that happens, many of these people turn to the Ark.

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Lucy Hudgens,


Stephanie Cockfield (on rt.), Financial Education

Terrell Moore Bennett, Program Coordinator

Roger Swagler - President

Sheila King - Vice President

Paul Wilson - Treasurer

Ray Caldwell - Secretary

Kay Dillard - Chaplain

Tom Cochran - Long Range Planning/Policy

Carol Norstedt -Finance/Fundraising Chair

Ray Caldwell -Personnel Chair

Marty Webb -  Communications

Patrick Cates - By-Laws

Joe Goetz, Marco Messori, 

Michael Thomas- Board Members-At-Large

Paula Hollis -Volunteer Chair

Dale Skeppstrom - Facilities


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The Ark Staff

The Ark's Executive Board : 2019-2020

About Us