How one man’s humble desire to help people belong started a global movement.
The first L’Arche community was founded in 1964 by Jean Vanier, the son of a former Governor General of Canada. After discovering that a large number of French people with developmental disabilities lived in institutions, he purchased a small house and welcomed two men with developmental disabilities to live with him. He named the house, nestled in Trosly-Breuil, L’Arche (the Ark).
Word quickly spread. Young people from around the world came to the Trosly-Breuil community to also share their lives with people who had a disability. By 1975, the L’Arche model had become a fast-growing global moment. Over 30 additional communities emerged in France, Canada, India, Africa and Haiti — rooted in the Roman Catholic faith.
Today, L’Arche has 149 communities in 37 countries around the world. L’Arche Atlanta, founded in 2012, is one of 18 L’Arche communities in the United States.
While each community is unique, we stand united through our shared vision and spirit. We welcome you to belong.