WHAT IS A L'ARCHE ASSISTANT?
At L'Arche, persons with an intellectual disability are known as "core members," and "assistants" are those who come to share life with them. Assistants accompany core members in their activities of daily life: creating home and supporting core members in sharing their gifts within the house and the larger community.
WHAT DO ASSISTANTS DO?
Assistants 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; and 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.
WHO CAN BECOME A L'ARCHE ASSISTANT?
For us, some of the most important criteria are an open heart, willingness to learn, commitment to personal growth, and belief in the unique sacredness and value of every individual. Assistants can range in age from the early 20s on up. Assistants come to L'Arche from all stages of life: after college, as a shift from a previous career, or after their formal career. As an international organization, we also often welcome assistants from other countries, which can add a unique cultural diversity to our communities.
DO I NEED SPECIAL TRAINING TO BE AN ASSISTANT?
Some people who come to work in L'Arche have experience working with people with disabilities, but most have not. The first requirement is that applicants have a desire to share life together in a faith community setting. Besides training in skills for caregiving, L'Arche provides formational experiences on broader topics that help its members to reflect on their vision of humanity and to grow in their relationships with others. It does so believing that the quality of life of the people with developmental disabilities is directly affected by the way caregivers think and relate and the view of the world that they hold.
WHAT SORT OF COMMITMENT DOES L'ARCHE ASK OF ASSISTANTS?
Most assistants dedicate a year or two to L'Arche. Some assistants choose to renew their commitment at the end of that time. Because of the nature of L'Arche, building and fostering intentional relationship and community, a year or two offers community members time to settle into life together. There are also assistants that build a long-term home at L'Arche. The decision to continue living L'Arche is a thoughtful process for each assistant made with support from their peers, community coordinators, and others who surround the assistant in community.
DO ASSISTANTS RECEIVE COMPENSATION?
Yes, all of our assistants earn competitive salaries which include room and board benefits (if live-in), health insurance and retirement options, and generous paid time off.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION:
After submitting your application, you should hear from us within a few weeks letting you know if you have been invited to continue the process. You will be asked to set up a time to visit our community and we will discuss setting up an interview for the assistant role with you.