To both maintain the AOK model that’s been so successful in helping our young people identify and pursue their dreams, and create the capacity to serve more youths in DC and in other communities, we prioritize our activity as follows:


Our primary focus is supporting the community of young people that is rooted in the original Thursday Night Dinner (TND). The maximum we can manage in this community at any given time is about 30.

(When we are ready to move beyond this threshold we will create a DC facility outside our home that will allow us to expand the range of resources we already provide to our growing community of young people. Just as Thursday Night Dinner attracts youth because it gives them things they want and need—food, companionship, laughter, joy—the expanded resources available at the AOK facility will provide a greater variety of opportunities of all kinds for our young people to define and move toward their dreams, for diverse communities of support to take root and for all involved to be nourished in body, mind and spirit.)


Our secondary focus will be supporting the efforts of a growing community of volunteers to meet the needs of the young people in the original AOK community and start new Thursday Night Dinners, initially in DC and eventually in communities around the country. We will not fund these efforts; instead we will provide the organizational and programmatic capacity-building resources, materials, advice and expertise, hands-on coaching and community-building tools that enable people to successfully establish financially self-sustaining TND communities.

This approach will enable us to provide high impact support to the young people at our table and grow AOK significantly while maintaining a lean operating budget.