Bag Lunch Program

lunch bag noah project

More than just a lunch, the Bag Lunch Program is the beginning of a relationship. The warm, safe space that is created where people are known by name can start a transformation. Offered Monday through Thursday, the Bag Lunch Program has served the downtown Detroit community for over 40 years.

We set transformation in motion first by welcoming participants to partake in our Bag Lunch Program. This meal is our main engagement strategy, designed to begin an ongoing relationship founded on trust and acceptance. It is open to anyone without qualifications or restrictions.

Lunches are provided by local churches, synagogues, businesses, organizations or civic groups who reserve a date.

NOAH Community Center



The NOAH Community Center exists as a place where anyone can come to eat lunch, get needed hygiene supplies, sign up to talk to a caseworker, make phone calls, or simply relax indoors. Staff members build rapport with clients, encouraging them to share the ways they want to be supported. Programs at NOAH strive to not only be client-centered, but also client-directed, so that each person feels empowered to reach their individual goals.

reaching out to the community

Art & Soul Restoring Dignity through Art

A partnership with First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Art & Soul helps restore dignity among homeless persons in Detroit by inspiring pride and purpose through self-expressive art.

We journey with disadvantaged adults through the arts of pottery, painting, knitting, sewing, beading, glass, poetry and more.

Our 5th Floor Studio space at Central UMC offers a safe, cozy, art-filled oasis for participants to explore their creative side, make friends, learn new crafts and give structure and an alternative to life on the streets. Art & Soul is staffed by volunteers who assist participants.

The program is offered September through June,  Thursdays from 10:30am-3:00pm. The studio is equipped with a kiln for firing ceramics.

Social Services


Through Case Management, the NOAH Project offers social services to provide support and guidance on the journey to self-sufficiency.

“How do I get into housing?”

“How can I get my State ID?”

“Where is the closest shelter?”

Every day, NOAH case managers field questions like these as they help clients navigate a complex journey to stability. Case Management (like all services at NOAH) is available without qualifications or restrictions and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis to 20 individuals Monday through Thursday beginning at 10:30am.

Case Management at NOAH provides:

  • Referrals for food, clothing, and shelter
  • Support in navigating the process to gain housing
  • Transportation assistance
  • Aid in gaining identification such as birth certificates and State IDs
  • Assistance in accessing substance abuse services

Street Outreach


Starting in 2016, NOAH saw the need to create a Street Outreach Program to engage individuals sleeping on the streets. This program allows staff to meet people where they are instead of requiring them to visit NOAH for assistance.

Our Street Outreach Coordinator, Matt Gatti, along with the Street Outreach Team spend three nights a week seeking out and engaging homeless individuals on the street. Bringing sandwiches, socks, and blankets, they build relationships with people who usually are ignored.

The items they bring not only provide sustenance and comfort, they help start conversations and ultimately relationships.

The team provides intensive case management services to these clients assisting client with connection to emergency shelter, housing navigation, ID restoration, state benefits, and medical care.

Wellness Counseling



The Florence and Paul Marback Wellness Center currently operates on Mondays and Thursdays from 10:30am-2:00pm.

The Center is staffed by volunteer retired nurses and offers physical health counseling to our clients.

Providing access to health information and care, these nurses fill a desperately needed gap in the care for those experiencing homelessness.

In addition to health education, they are able to assist with prescription payments, basic medical supplies, and assistance in navigating a complex and daunting medical system.

Dedicated to the memory of Florence and Paul Marback, these two shining members of our family volunteered for many years at the Bag Lunch program and were loved by all who met them. The compassionate care that each gave to one another in their final months was a testament to the power of love and family.

The Wellness Center carries on that mission of compassion and dignity to the work that we do here at NOAH.

For more information about the Wellness Center or how to volunteer, contact Jo Anna Risk, Wellness Center Coordinator!



With the implementation of the Healthy Michigan Plan in April 2014, access to healthcare became available for thousands of uninsured people across the state, including many NOAH participants.

Responding, NOAH partnered with Covenant Community Care to assist individuals gain health insurance, many for the first time in their lives.

But health insurance isn’t enough. Access to quality care that understands the health needs of the homeless population is also required. In order to provide this link, members of Covenant’s Homeless Outreach Team come to NOAH every Wednesday, help enroll and navigate the health insurance system, and then transport up to five people to their Michigan Ave. clinic to see a doctor or dentist. This partnership has improved the quality of care received by NOAH clients.

Learn more about Covenant’s work on their website!

2020 Annual Report

Lunches served

One-on-One sessions


“They’re good friends if you need some help!”

Marlon - NOAH Client

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

Brian - NOAH Client

 "I still come to NOAH (after I got housing) to help others, to give back, to urge them to want better, to be willing to try.”

Kwame - NOAH Client