The ARK began in 1996 as a community outreach initiative of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Summerville. Initially, The ARK served 13 families with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
The following year, The ARK launched a satellite respite day program in rural St. George serving families in Dorchester, Colleton, and Orangeburg counties. In 2004, The ARK received grant funding for a bus that enabled more participants to attend our respite programs. Presently, The ARK operates a four-day-a-week Summerville program with 10 participants per day. To date, The ARK has served hundreds of families, with countless others receiving information and referrals.
After residing at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church for over 22 years, The ARK of SC has moved into its beautiful, expanded, dedicated home. Peg Lahmeyer, Founder and Executive Director, started The ARK in 1996 originally as a community outreach program of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Summerville. Lahmeyer says, “we are so appreciative of St. Luke’s supporting our vision and mission for 20+ years through their outreach ministries.” This move gives The ARK the much-needed space to provide the quality and quantity of service that the target population so desperately needs, while creating a more visible presence in our community.
The ARK has earned a reputation as a refuge for families coping with the care of loved ones with dementia. We are also a community information and referral source, having cultivated a wide network of invaluable Lowcountry geriatric resources for local family caregivers.
The ARK’s efforts and expertise have been recognized by the SAGE Institute (in collaboration with the South Carolina Hospital Association and the Duke Endowment) with a 2004 Geriatric Best Practices Award. The ARK is recognized by the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging as a model respite program recommended for replication across South Carolina.