L’Arche USA

Religious Affiliation

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Address

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Phone

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Overview

The secret of L’Arche is relationship: meeting people, not through the filters of certitudes, ideologies, idealism or judgments, but heart to heart; listening to people with their pain, their joy, their hope, their history, listening to their heart beats.

– Jean Vanier, L’Arche founder

L’Arche enables people with and without disabilities to share their lives in communities of faith and friendship. Community members are transformed through relationships of mutuality, respect, and companionship as they live, work, pray, and play together.

In these ways, L’Arche USA gives witness to the vision that people of differing intellectual capacity, religion, and culture can come together in unity, faithfulness and reconciliation. While some of our communities were founded in the Roman Catholic Church tradition, today L’Arche USA communities are ecumenical and welcome people of all faiths.

Assistants work to build a relationship of mutual care and support with persons with disabilities; foster a home life of unity, mutual respect and participation by all members; provide direct care supports and skill building for core members: personal care needs, money management, medical care, appointments, family and work connections, household chores, laundry, medications, meal preparation, and transportation.

Program Term

1-2 years, although this could be more or less.

Locations

18 domestic locations and 36 countries (see below for more specifics).

Funding and Benefits

Stipend

Stipend averaging $800 per month (though this varies across the country) for year long service. Summer internships stipends average about $400 per month (though this varies across the country as well).

Fundraising

Not required.

AmeriCorps Education Awards

After one year of service, AmeriCorps members can be eligible for an education award of $5,550 that can be applied to future education or current student loans.

Loan Forbearance

With AmeriCorps.

Housing

Provided.

Intentional living community

Yes. Required to live in healthy and intentional community with house members and follow respective house rules.

Board

Provided

Travel and Transportation

None

Mission and Distinctives

Each L’Arche community, in each country, is unified by the following Statement of Identity and Mission:

We are people, with and without developmental disabilities, sharing life in communities belonging to an International Federation. Mutual relationships and trust in God are at the heart of our journey together. We celebrate the unique value of every person and recognize our need of one another.

Our Mission Is To:

  • Make known the gifts of people with developmental disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships;

  • Foster an environment in community that responds to the changing needs of our members, while being faithful to the core values of our founding story; and

  • Engage in our diverse cultures, working together toward a more human society.

Requirements

  • Assistants must be at least 18 – 20 years old, depending on the locale of the L’Arche community.
  • Additionally, qualifications include:
    • College education preferred
    • Interest in living in a faith community founded on the Beatitudes
    • Desire to work with individuals with disabilities (Experience with people with disabilities is not a requirement)
    • Creativity, flexibility, attention to detail, and ability to organize time
    • Verbal and written communication skills
    • Ability to work as part of a team

Religious

L’Arche is an ecumenical, interfaith organization which is accepting and embracing of all.

Locations

Atlanta, Georgia
Boston, Massachusetts
Chicago, Illinois
Cleveland, Ohio
Clinton, Iowa
Erie, Pennsylvania
Jacksonville, Florida
Lynchburg, Virginia

Mobile, Alabama
Orange, California
Overland Park, Kansas
Portland, Oregon
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
St. Louis, Missouri
Syracuse, New York
Tacoma, Washington
Washington D.C.

There are also 140 member communities of L’Arche in 36 countries.