The Anna and Jacob Fine Social Services Center is the entry point for all clients. Our case managers create individualized plans, drawing upon The ARK’s wide array of free services. Case managers help clients sort out financial issues and manage household budgets, and help clients apply for any government benefits for which they may be eligible (e.g., SNAP, Medicaid and Social Security and/or disability benefits, etc.) The case manager continues to serve as the client’s advocate and link to needed services, even as needs may change.
Clients who live in Chicago’s north and northwest suburbs may choose to visit The ARK’s Northbook office. Services include case management, food pantry, delivery of medications from The ARK’s pharmacy, job counseling, psychological counseling, and transportation to The ARK’s main location for medical and dental appointments.
Medical, Dental, Eye Care and Prescription Medication
Our medical clinic provides care to uninsured and under-insured adults in our community.
Volunteer physicians provide medical treatment in The ARK’s Medical Clinic of the Goldie Bachmann Luftig Health Center five days per week, including two evenings. Patients make appointments to see internists, as well as cardiologists, gynecologists and other specialists. X-rays and other tests and procedures are performed at area hospitals at no charge to clients, through special arrangements with The ARK.
The Minnie and Dr. Peter H. Okner, D.D.S., Dental Clinic provides complete, professional dental treatment. The professional staff and volunteer dentists do examinations and cleanings; X-rays and fillings; perform extractions; treat infections and periodontal disease; and fit dental prosthetics (bridges and dentures.)
The licensed optometrists in the Judge John & Effie Ziegler Gutknecht Eye Clinic do complete vision exams, diagnose and treat certain eye conditions, and prescribe and fit eyeglasses. Patients may choose from a wide selection of stylish eyeglass frames.
Each year we fill over 12,000 life-sustaining prescriptions for our clients in the Fred Woods Pharmacy and Gertrude & Harry G. Fins Pharmacy Annex. Clients may pick up prescriptions at the Pharmacy or at The ARK Northwest. Volunteers also deliver prescriptions to patients who are elderly or homebound.
The ARK is able to help families weather times of unanticipated financial adversity. This assistance ensures that no one in our community is forced to choose among life’s most basic necessities. Our certified financial counselor works individually with families to increase their financial literacy so they can achieve long-term economic stability.
The ARK’s employment services help clients become job-ready. Staff works with clients on skills assessment, resume writing, and job search and interview techniques. They also arrange for clients to receive any other services that may be relevant to finding and keeping a good job: dental work to repair or replace unsightly teeth; counseling to address personal issues; medical care for health conditions that impede employment. Clients have access to ARK computers for online job searches, and may choose just the right outfits for job interviews from a free “closet” of business-appropriate clothing for men and women. Staff members establish relationships with local employers to help match qualified candidates with the employers’ needs, and remain in close contact with clients who get jobs to provide ongoing support and help ensure continued employment.
The Rhea Segal Food Pantry is stocked with nutritious foods and essential items such as toilet paper, diapers, and other needed items not covered by government benefits. Clients shop in our pantry using our “Client Choice” point system. Low-fat and sugar-free foods are available for clients with particular dietary needs. We also provide fresh produce vouchers for clients to shop in nearby grocery stores.
The Sarnoff Levin Residence for the Homeless provides temporary (up to 120 day stay) housing, kosher food and a complete array of supportive services for homeless families and individuals. Supportive social workers meet with clients to help them recover from the trauma of homelessness and create a plan for regaining financial stability. With bright, clean rooms, nutritious meals and holiday celebrations, the Residence serves as a “home away from home”—a source of shelter, tangible support and the warmth of a caring Jewish community.
Jewish Spiritual and Life Cycle Event Services
Led by The ARK’s Rabbi, and with the assistance of other ARK staff and many volunteers, the Michael E. Schneider Spiritual Enrichment Program offers compassionate support and guidance for all of life’s important stages and events. Clients and other community members gather for Passover seders, festive meals on Sukkot, Shavuot, and Rosh Hashana, a weekly pre-Shabbat Kiddush luncheon, and a weekly “Café ARK” dinner. The ARK has hosted weddings, baby-namings and circumcisions, and served as a warm and loving locale for clients sitting shiva to receive well-wishers. Clients may take part in a wide selection of classes, lectures, communal meals, and Jewish holiday celebrations, and turn to our Rabbi for personal counseling and spiritual guidance.
Mental Health Services
For adults with mental health needs, The ARK’s Mental Health Services offer professional treatment and support. The Psychological Services Program provides mental health services to adult clients who have been referred by the social service staff, including individual counseling, psychological testing, as well as volunteer psychiatrists who prescribe medication as indicated.
The Intensive Day Program was developed to address the needs of adults in the community who suffer from prolonged mental health needs. In addition to psychotherapy, staff and fellow clients become a “family” to individuals who are often isolated from friends and family as a result of their illness. Staff workers help ensure that clients take necessary medication, pay bills and keep medical appointments; oversee housing situations; and offer compassionate support for clients and family members. The program also provides a daily schedule of therapeutic classes, and communal opportunities in the form of outings, meals and holiday celebrations. The support of the program helps provide a viable alternative to homelessness or institutionalization. Unlike other ARK services, the Intensive Day Program is open to all adults in the community, regardless of financial need.
Volunteer lawyers help clients with civil matters involving eviction, foreclosure, bankruptcy, debt collection, wills and powers of attorney, employment law, and immigration.