Tiana Holding

Jack Kosik Seeks to Build Noah’s Ark

Posted on: December 3, 2011

Jack Kosik

Jack Kosik

Most people know the story of Noah from the Bible, even if they’ve never read it. Movies like Evan Almighty give it a modern-day twist. In the Bible, Noah is commanded by God to build an ark. He was to build an ark as a place of safe refuge for him, his family, and 2 of every kind of animal on the Earth. Noah’s Ark was a way to start over.

Today, Noah’s Ark is a place of safe refuge for people with developmental disabilities. It is a place to start over, a community for people with disabilities to live together, yet on their own.

“Noah’s Ark is committed to empowering individuals who have developmental disabilities by advocating on their behalf and by providing or facilitating choices of meaningful employment, recreational and social opportunities and affordable housing in an inclusive community of their choice,” states the Noah’s Ark mission statement.

Before going into the details about Noah’s Ark, let’s talk about the reasoning behind why such communities are needed.

There is a growing need for places of safe refuge for people with disabilities in America. People with disabilities are more likely to be victims of abuse and rape and less likely to have any police intervention, legal protection, or steps taken for prevention. Research has found that children with disabilities are treated violently 1.7 times more a year than children without disability.

Outside of the gruesome details of rape and abuse, disabilities don’t only affect the people who have them, but their family members as well. The families of people with disabilities are greatly impacted by the disability in a loved one’s life. The parents are the most affected.

Parents of people with disabilities are often scared to die. They are afraid of what will happen to their child after they go. What many people don’t know is that there are people out there providing a place of safety, where parents’ worries can be put to rest. Noah’s Ark is that place.

Jack Kosik is the lead man in the foundation of Noah’s Ark. He is, in a sense, the star of the show. What does Jack Kosik do? It would be a better question to ask, what doesn’t Jack Kosik do?

Kosik is one of the founders of Noah’s Ark. Noah’s Ark is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1997 by five families with developmentally disabled children, looking for answers. These families were disappointed by the things they found when looking for answers to their questions about what would happen to their children. Thus Noah’s Ark came into existence.

Kosik had his own reason for jumping into this endeavor, his daughter, Brittany. Brittany was born mentally disabled, and after Kosik split from his wife, she was a source of joy and inspiration for him. He realized he wanted to give back to her for the love she had given him.

In 2001, the First United Methodist Church in Lakeland purchased and donated 3 residential lots to Noah’s Ark and donated money to start construction. In 2002, the construction began and Noah’s Ark was now underway.

The Community of Noah’s Nest is located near Lake Morton in Lakeland with 4 residential homes. Plans are currently underway for a bigger community, called Noah’s Landing, on some property in North Lakeland.

The people who live in the Noah’s Ark homes are in a safe environment where they are surrounded by friends and can learn to live independently.

“The most rewarding thing about working at Noah’s Ark is seeing individuals grow in their decision-making and their independence while exceeding expectations of others. Seeing families being able to relax knowing that their kids will have a decent quality of life when they are gone,” says Kosik.

Noah’s Ark either provides or facilitates work opportunities for their residents. They charge a very low rate for rent, 30% of each person’s income.

“The first few months are times of major adjustments…this is a time that families have to encourage their adult children and help them grow,” Kosik states.

Even though there are many great things happening with the development of Noah’s Ark, there are even better plans on the way.

Noah’s Landing in North Lakeland will have a community garden, resale shop, farmyard, fish farming and therapeutic horseback riding. Kosik wants the Landing to be a system of self-sustaining villages with various styled homes. The community is mapped out with homes connected by a beautiful landscaped and pathway system, with security gates closing at night to control access.

Kosik is also in the early stages of writing a succession plan to replace himself.

“I won’t be here forever, at least not physically,” Kosik says. “When I die, I plan to have my ashes spread out on the Noah’s Landing property so the kids will never really get rid of me.”

To find out more about Noah’s Ark, call, fax, email, visit, or check out the website.

 

2225 East Edgewood Drive, Suite 6

Lakeland, Florida 33803

863.687.0804                       1.863.808.5787 – Fax             NoahsArkFlorida.org

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