ARK Outreach's mission can be summed up in the straight to the point message on its website: "ARK is a community shaped by those who are homeless and street-involved. We seek to support those who live with the realities of life without shelter in our country. Together we create a place to call home."
That impetus to create a sense of home has resonated with many members of the Halifax punk scene and it's one of the many reasons why local bands Burnt Church, Napalm Raid, Silent Order, Sex Wizard and Whiskeybent and Hellbound, are joining forces to play a benefit show to raise money for ARK this week.
Benefit organizer Mike Parks of Burnt Church feels a sense of debt to ARK's director Dorothy Patterson and the ARK staff. "When I initially moved here I was in a pretty bad spot and she helped me get back on my feet," says Parks. "I think if you talked to any number of people in the Halifax punk scene you'll hear similar stories.
"The ARK is fundamentally different from other drop-in centers that you'll find across the country due to the fact Dorothy and the other staff members take an active role in the lives of the youth who frequent the centre," says Parks.
Burnt Church and the other bands playing the benefit are paying back the ARK's active engagement in kind, "As a band, our lyrics are mainly socio-political in focus," says Parks. "Organizing this show is putting those words into action." --Mark Black
ARK Youth Outreach benefit
w/Napalm Raid, Whiskey Bent and Hellbound, Burnt Church, Silent Order, Sex Wizard
Saturday, February 4, 10:30pm
Gus' Pub, 2605 Agricola Street