The Ark Celebrates the Reopening of a Human Services Hub for Chicago’s Jewish Community June 6, 2024

Since 1971, The Ark has provided essential human services to members of Chicago’s Jewish community — growing from a free medical clinic into a multifaceted service provider that today offers wraparound support to help clients facing adversity navigate toward self-reliance. The nonprofit accomplishes this with a robust mix of programs that includes case management, financial counseling and assistance, intensive job coaching, health services, emergency food assistance, housing solutions, and spiritual enrichment.

Having outgrown its facility in the West Rogers Park neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side, The Ark began planning in 2017 to renovate the building to create additional space to support the continued growth of the organization. Toward that end, the organization engaged IFF’s Real Estate Solutions team the following year to conduct a feasibility study and to provide additional predevelopment support for the acquisition of an adjacent lot and subsequent renovation and expansion of the nonprofit’s facility.

After deciding to move forward with the $21.5 million project, The Ark enlisted IFF as the owner’s representative to help navigate the development process and broke ground on the renovation and expansion project in June 2022—with Eckenhoff Saunders serving as the architect and Bulley & Andrews serving as the general contractor. Last month, The Ark celebrated the completion of the project, which has expanded the footprint of The Ark’s facility by 60 percent with a 14,000-square-foot addition to provide ample space for the organization to continuing expanding its programs and growing its positive impact.

Included in the expanded facility is a market-style kosher food pantry that’s more than four times as large as it was previously, which will enable more food to be stored on site and more volunteers to help operate the market; a pharmacy that’s been relocated to the building’s first floor to increase accessibility; a community space that’s twice as large to accommodate up to 100 people for meals and events; and dedicated spaces for free medical care, including specialized services like dental care, dermatology, and mental health support. In its expanded space, The Ark anticipates serving up to 5,000 clients per year across its programs — a 20 percent increase from the number of clients the organization was able to serve prior to renovations.

Scroll down to learn more and to see photos of the expanded facility!

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