Noah’s Ark clients come here for many different reasons as well as from many different cultures and backgrounds. We are a low barrier shelter, so we accept pretty much everyone here. Homelessness can affect anyone at any time in their life, and we are here to help!

Cultural diversity – Noah’s Ark is the only low-barrier shelter for homeless people that serves such a diverse clientele on the Yakama Nation and lower valley. Over half of our clients are Native American, and approximately one fourth are Latino/a and/or Spanish-speaking. Many of our Native clients, especially, feel a strong sense of cultural ties to the community around Wapato, and even though they may be without homes they still consider this community their place. So having a place to stay within this community instead of, say, Yakima, fills a critical need to house people while also respecting their cultural roots and maintaining their support networks.

Low-Barrier – We are one of the few low barrier shelters in Yakima County, and the only one on the reservation. As a low barrier shelter, we accept people as they are. They are not required to be clean and sober (though drug and alcohol use on the premises is strictly forbidden) nor do they have to attend religious services or any other pre-conditions in order to be sheltered. This is in keeping with the “housing first” model, in which people with addictions, mental and physical illnesses, historical trauma and abuse, and other debilitating pre-conditions are insured of a safe place to stay out of the elements first, and then encouraged to work with our staff or other healthcare or counseling resources to work on addressing their conditions once they are in a stable place. Overcoming many of these liabilities is tremendous work and can only be accomplished once they are in a stable place of relative safety in which to work on them.

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