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.
1-2 years, although this could be more or less.
18 domestic locations and 36 countries (see below for more specifics).
Funding & 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.
Intentional living community: Yes. Required to live in healthy and intentional community with house members and follow respective house rules.
Travel and Transportation: None
Mission & 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.
- 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
L’Arche is an ecumenical, interfaith organization which is accepting and embracing of all.
Overland Park, Kansas
St. Louis, Missouri
Syracuse, New York
There are also 140 member communities of L’Arche in 36 countries.