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Mrs. Yvonne Lopez


About Me

Often referred to as the “Mother Theresa” of LaGrange, Georgia, Minister Yvonne Lopez has made it her life’s mission to care for, clothe, house, feed and minister to the underprivileged, the destitute, the homeless and the thrown-away members of society. Driven by her strong passion and inimitable faith in Christ, Minister Lopez is the Chief Executive Officer of the impressive ARK Refuge Ministries, Inc. Founded by her late husband (Pastor Carlos Lopez) some 22 years ago, this nonprofit is committed to restoring the lives of individuals and families affected by issues related to homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, unemployment and related societal ills. Self-motivated, Ms. Lopez wears many hats, to include providing leadership, management, fundraising, communications, planning, strategizing, marketing, problem-solving and carrying out major duties as required to maintain this unique organization. A staunch activist for safe and affordable housing for the needy and improving their quality of life, Lopez serves as the highest ranking executive at ARK, with ultimate responsibility for making major administrative and programmatic decisions. The nonprofit’s primary purpose is to provide a safe, structured and secure environment, including shelter, employment opportunities, food and clothing within a 24 hours/7 days a week facility. ARK assists men 18 years and older struggling with substance abuse, mental health and/or physical disabilities, homelessness and re-entry. Lopez is constantly working on a variety of concerns, including strategies to end homelessness through prevention, outreach, intake and assessment, housing support and employment prospects. Volunteer Service No stranger to helping others, Ms. Lopez has worked as a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer in community shelters throughout the States of Maryland, Massachusetts and Georgia. She prepared sandwiches and served food for the homeless at night, on weekends and holidays. Working tirelessly, Lopez contributed shoes, socks, clothing and coats, while encouraging and helping patrons to pursue a better life. Rain, hail, sleet or snow, this was her passion! Energized by her work, Lopez declared, I was motivated by helping the homeless citizens. When I first started out, I thought I was helping them, but soon I realized that they were helping me! I was thrilled and very fulfilled doing that work! Early Career Throughout the years, Minister Lopez has committed her life to service. Early on, she was employed by the Social Security Administration where she received training on issues involving disability insurance, retirement and survivor’s benefits. Later, she worked for the Department of Labor CETA Program (the Comprehensive Employment & Training Administration), helping youth to find and maintain employment. Eventually, Lopez left her Maryland home for Atlanta where she worked in the Home Health Care industry, caring for the elderly and others with developmental or mobility issues. Ultimately, Ms. Lopez decided to become an entrepreneur, opening a day care school for newborns to five-year old children. She remained in this profession for more than 13 years, leaving after her late husband, Pastor Carlos Lopez, convinced her to join him in managing ARK Refuge, Inc. in LaGrange, GA. Today, Minister Lopez’s commitment to continue the legacy of her late husband is commendable. She commands the upmost respect for her tireless efforts, working as a “jack of all trades and master of many,” for the disenfranchised in the Calumet Park Community. Community Service In addition to her substantial work at ARK, Ms. Lopez serves as a member of a number of vital community organizations, to include: Racial Trust Building Member of Troup Together Board, Calumet Center for Healing Member, ACGTS Board, Calumet Park Neighborhood Association Member, NAACP LaGrange Police Dept. Hiring Board Board Member, Rotary Club Graduate of Troup County Leadership Graduate of LaGrange Citizens Police Academy Member, the Homeless Coalition Former Coordinator of the Warming Center Strategic Solutions As a public servant, Minister Lopez, working closely with community partners and a small staff of dedicated volunteers, strives collaboratively to address the needs of residents who do not have a voice to demand the help they need. Ms. Lopez’s overarching goal is to help find solutions on strategies to promote empowerment and independence, end homelessness and associated challenges. She is unwaveringly motivated, determined and dedicated to her passion of paving a better way of life for Troup County, Georgia’s less-fortunate residents, children and families.

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