How We Began ...
In 2007, concerned community leaders from Wapato and the region, from the Yakama Indian Nation, and drug-counseling representatives met to discuss solutions regarding chronic homeless in the rural, poor area - many of them sleeping and living on the streets and parks in Wapato.
Generating Hope was founded by Robecka Morrow, who led the agency until health matters required her to retire in 2012.
The Rev. David Hacker purchased a large building in a commercial part of Wapato - and with the help of Yakima County, the Yakama Nation, the Yakima Valley Community Foundation, and many others brought it into code compliance so it could operate as an emergency shelter, provide sustaining meals to counter drug-alcohol addiction and for the poor in need of nourishment, and a centrally located center where those in need can seek assistance to include visits from community-service medical teams and other agencies.
Noah's Ark is named after Sheri Noah, a Presbyterian minister who dedicated her life to meeting the needs of the poor, the disadvantaged, and the homeless. Following her untimely death from cancer, David Hacker dedicated his life to continue that mission of helping others by providing his place to Generating Hope as a place where the lost can find their way - and rebuild their lives (Generate Hope).
We offer non-judgmental hospitality: you are not turned away if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol - or have nowhere else to go.
In a remote, rural area where there are few alternatives for shelter or food, the alternative to our ARK's sanctuary can mean freezing, becoming a victim to abuse or robbery, or becoming sick with no help.
All who enter must abide by shelter rules, however, which means zero-tolerance for drug or alcohol use - and abiding by the spirit of a sanctuary where peace and relations to others is important.
Our Current Status.
Now, after more than 8 years, our collaborative partners, such as Northwest Harvest, Yakama Nation, Yakima Neighborhood Health, and churches such as Wapato's St. Peter's Claver, Zillah's Christ Episcopal Church, and Yakima's Wesley United Methodist all continue to help - as do many others - recognizing our need will not go away.
With the cold winter weather approaching, our overnight shelter is filled to capacity. We serve 100 meals per day. And Noah's Ark, because it is the only shelter on the Yakama Nation reservation, must stay open year-around.
Volunteers are our Foundation.
We could not sustain operations without volunteers. Volunteers come from surrounding communities to help serve meals, cook, and provide support. Other volunteers have helped by providing transportation to medical appointments, providing comfort to the homeless community over lost loved ones, assisting clients to find employment and support to transition to permanent housing.
We encourage participation by homeless in leadership positions -- former homeless clients want to give back to the homeless community by continuing to help others - and be instrumental in assisting others to become clean and sober. There are many success stories.
Many community groups from churches and other service agencies/businesses come to accomplish projects - to make our ARK better - to invest in helping others find themselves.
Together, we remain committed to serving "the least of these." (Matthew 25:40)