Our mission

community impact

The NOAH Project serves as a central hub for services, resources, and relationships as we journey alongside individuals on the path to stable housing. To fulfill this mission, we -

- Welcome everyone with warm hospitality

-  Practice radical acceptance that builds trusting relationships

- Remain persistent and consistent throughout the journey

-  Treat all clients, volunteers, staff and partners with respect and dignity

-  Strive for diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do

-  Engage the community in our commitment to social change

Our vision is to be an anchor of hope leading the Detroit community in ending homelessness.

At NOAH, we support individuals by developing trusting relationships founded upon acceptance — acceptance of who that person is. When acceptance is combined with compassion and honesty, it builds trust. By creating an environment founded on trusting relationships, we develop a family for people so they have the support necessary to change and grow.

“Everyone had a big heart. That’s exactly what I needed — a head start and a helping hand.” -- Brian, NOAH client

History

Central United Methodist Church

In 1976, members of Central United Methodist Church saw that people in their community needed food. Responding to this basic need, church members began offering a Bag Lunch to anyone who came to their door twice per week, on Mondays and Thursdays. This program, now over 40 years old, remains the cornerstone of the NOAH Project.

In 1999, realizing that people needed more than just a lunch, Central partnered with Family Service, Inc. and created the NOAH Project (Networking, Organizing, and Advocating for the Homeless). NOAH began offering social services and physical health counseling.

In 2003, NOAH was transferred to the Central United Methodist Church of Detroit Community Development Corporation, our 501(c) 3. In 2014, responding to the coldest and snowiest winter in Detroit’s history, NOAH opened wide its doors and created the NOAH Community Center. We extended our hours and are now open to people from 9:00am to 2:00pm Monday through Thursday. NOAH also expanded its Bag Lunch Program to serve lunch on all four days. This growth has spurred the creation of the Community Center.

Board of Directors

In 2003, members of Central United Methodist Church created the Central UMC of Detroit Community Development Corporation (CDC). Their original purpose in organizing the CDC was to develop property adjacent to the church building.

After several years of planning their development, the recession of 2008 undermined market demand and fundamentally altered community development opportunities within the city. Central United Methodist CDC decided to table its development plans and focus instead on services to prevent foreclosures and to strengthen the NOAH Project, which pre-dates the CDC and has been well known and respected in the community for many years.

Today, Central United Methodist CDC is refocused and re-energized, as the agency looks to expand its work on behalf of the homeless through the work of the NOAH Project. Its board is comprised of church members, community residents, and former NOAH clients.

Community Image
  • President

    Carolyn Elliot

  • Vice President

    TBD

  • Secretary

    Colleen Robar

  • Treasurer

    Paul Agosta

  • Board of Directors

    Christine Crawford

    Cameron Davis

    Dee Davis

    Jeffrey Ellison

    Jason Gilmore

    Carl Herrell

    Helen Monroe

    Arthur Park

    Paul Perez

    Celeste Rabaut

    Tom Robinson

    Susan Shirkey

    Dyane Townley

    Mahja Zeon

Our Team

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Amy Brown

Executive Director of the CDC

Amy has always been passionate about working with individuals experiencing housing insecurities and believes that housing is a basic human right. She came to NOAH in 2004 from Alabama as a volunteer through a United Methodist Church program. While here, Amy fell in love with Detroit and decided to make it her home. She graduated with her Master's in Social Work from Wayne State University in 2008.

Amy has worked in various roles at NOAH and the Central CDC, first as Assistant Director of NOAH, then Director of NOAH, and now serves as the Director of the Central CDC. Amy has been a part of the Continuum of Care board, working to align system resources to progress toward end homelessness, since 2017. She served as the chair of the Continuum of Care board from 2019-2022.

Amy is excited about the growth of NOAH and the Central CDC and our collaborative work to address housing inequities in Detroit.

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Stacie Vaughn-Covington

NOAH Project Director

Stacie graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Social Work. Stacie says she is excited to be part of NOAH because “I want to be a part of the transformative work that happens at NOAH.” Stacie brings over 20 years of experience in the Social Work field and says she enjoys working at NOAH because “it’s like a big family.”

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Jessica Brasington

Development Director

Jessica joined the staff the summer of 2023. She graduated from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 2016 with degrees in Comparative Cultures & Politics and Social Policy. After college, she served in the Peace Corps in West Java, Indonesia. Since returning to Metro-Detroit from Peace Corps service in 2019, Jessica has worked in the nonprofit sector, progressing from direct client services, to case management, to development work. Jessica's goals are to create holistic and meaningful projects, build lasting community partnerships, and personally connect with NOAH's supporters. Jessica was selected as a 2023 American Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Fisher Fellow.

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Yaya Urbina 

Operations Assistant

Yaya assists NOAH's leadership team in all things operations and logistics. Yaya first came to NOAH in 2020 through Jesuit Volunteer Corps and served for a year as NOAH's Community Center Manager.

Yaya is a University of Portland graduate, having studied political science and philosophy. They enjoy hiking, being outdoors, listening to music, and breaking bread with family, friends, and community.

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Paige Henson

Community Center Manager

Before becoming the Community Center Manager, Paige worked as a part of NOAH's street outreach team doing case management and outreach to NOAH's unsheltered clients, working to connect them to housing and other services. Paige first started with NOAH as a social work intern in 2019 and earned her BSW from Eastern Michigan University.

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Angela Bakeley

Community Center Receptionist

Angela's experiences as a former NOAH client give her a unique level of empathy and understanding for clients as soon as they walk through the door, setting the tone for all of the interactions they have in our community center and the impactful work we do alongside them.

Angela shares that as a former NOAH client, she felt like "just a person, not a 'homeless' person" and aims to ensure all our clients continue to feel welcomed in the same way. Angela began volunteering in the NOAH Community Center in 2011 and was hired into her current role in 2020. In her role, Angela also manages the hygiene pantry and distributes client mail.

Angela is proud to have been born and raised in Detroit and to be raising her own family here as well.

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Elijah Earnest

Peer Community Builder

Elijah Earnest is a direct care worker and community advocate from Detroit. With over five years of experience, he has provided direct peer support for countless individuals. His passion lies in spreading awareness about recovery, particularly for those dealing with mental illnesses, addiction, and homelessness. Having personally received mental health, substance abuse, and housing services in the past, he empathizes with the challenges that those he supports are facing. Elijah believes in self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-evaluation and describes himself as a spiritual person.

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Matt Gatti

Street Outreach Manager

Matt is a 2019 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work and LMSW in the state of Michigan. Prior to earning his degree, Matt served as a Jesuit Volunteer in Detroit between 2016 and 2017. Matt started working at NOAH as the Community Center Manager in 2019, and moved full-time to coordinate NOAH's Street Outreach team in 2020. As the Street Outreach Manager, Matt provides supervision to the street outreach staff, works alongside staff during basic needs outreach shifts, and manages a caseload of his own outreach clients.

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Darrell Rhodes

Street Outreach Caseworker

Darrell began working with NOAH in 2023 as a Street Outreach Worker with the goal of aiding The NOAH Project's efforts to end homelessness. Darrell is a native Detroiter who has worked in the human services field for more than 20 years in Detroit and Seattle, WA.  Supporting and advocating for the needs and concerns of the community has also been Darrell's focus in past positions as a juvenile probation officer, street outreach/case manager, housing case manager, and community health worker.

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Stephanie Plotts

Street Outreach Caseworker

Stephanie began working as a NOAH Street Outreach Caseworker in 2023. Prior to coming to NOAH, Stephanie worked for three years as a Permanent Supportive Housing Case Manager at another Detroit-based nonprofit. Stephanie believes that developing a rapport with clients based on trust, respect, reliability, consistency, and prioritizing the value of human relationships is the key to her successful start at NOAH. She's also a proponent of encouraging our clients to advocate themselves, while ceaslessly advocating on their behalf. Stephanie is currently earning her Social Work degree through Wayne State University.

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Remington Devereaux

Bag Lunch & Volunteer Coordinator

Remington is the bag lunch and volunteer coordinator. Remington is not new to the NOAH family as he was born and raised in Detroit, where he attended Central United Methodist Church as a child with his grandparents.  Having had the tenets of peace and justice instilled in him as a young child, Remington knows the importance of serving marginalized, oppressed and disenfranchised individuals.

It’s good to be home!

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