L'Arche - Chicago, Illinois

Group Size: 2 leaders, 8 participants

Host Community:

L’Arche Chicago began in the 1980’s striving to reveal the dignity of every human being by building a community of faith and belonging where people with and without intellectual disabilities live together in family-style homes. People with intellectual disabilities are at the heart of L'Arche. They are not clients, patients, or recipients of services, but rather they are friends, teachers, and companions. People with intellectual disabilities grow through their encounters in L'Arche. Through daily acts of care, trust, and friendship, they develop into ambassadors of compassion and leaders for social change and the common good.

L’Arche welcomes each opportunity to introduce people to their life and spirit to encourage inclusivity. You may have an interest in working with people who have disabilities, a spiritual resonance with L’Arche’s vision of mutuality and solidarity with persons who are marginalized, a desire to immerse yourself in community, or a sense that there must be something more to life. Join VISION and L’Arche on this journey.

Justice Issues:

Marginalization: A divided society is mended through inclusivity; where people with many differences–social-economic status, race, religion, and intellectual capacity–live and work together. L’Arche seeks to foster solidarity among communities, ensure unity in diversity, establish the conditions for membership, and to create conditions for trust, service, dialogue, and mutual support.

Cultural Opportunities:

VISION at L’Arche...

● is a concrete way for each one of us to contribute to the realization of this project.

● means to journey along the road together, to share something of one’s story through the gestures of each day, and to discover in the need that we have for others the value of our own life and the value of the life of everyone, no matter what their capabilities or their weaknesses are.

● means to help each other to grow and change, to become free to be oneself.

● requires no prior experience, only the willingness to be available and open to learn from persons with disabilities, to let oneself be transformed by them.

● means the practical responsibilities and the types of services might change in response to the needs and desires expressed by the persons living at L’Arche, as well as the personal journey of each volunteer.